Replace 08/03/2021 @ 10:44 AM EST: The launch try has been formally scrubbed for at present, and a brand new timeline for the subsequent try is about to be confirmed. We’ll present updates as they develop into obtainable.
Boeing is all set to make a second try at flying its Starliner CST-100 business crew spacecraft to the Worldwide House Station, performing a key demonstration forward of truly placing astronauts on board for the ultimate large launch earlier than it might declare the spacecraft is licensed for normal flight by NASA. As we speak’s ‘Orbital Flight Check 2’ (OFT-2) mission is a re-do of 1 that Boeing and NASA first carried out in December, 2019.
That first strive was meant to be the one one, however it didn’t go fairly as deliberate, with software program errors leading to a mistaken fireplace of the craft’s engines, exhausting the gasoline required to get to the House Station for automated docking as deliberate. Boeing as a substitute seemed to salvage the take a look at with a touchdown try, which additionally encountered an issue that was corrected earlier than a very good landing.
Whereas Boeing initially wished to re-fly the mission someday final 12 months, the schedule was pushed out for a wide range of causes, and a world pandemic occurring within the interim can’t have helped. Each Boeing and NASA performed in depth investigations into not simply the reason for the particular drawback that the OFT-1 mission encountered, however the tradition and processes of Boeing’s software program growth as properly.
House trade fans could already know that Boeing’s Starliner is one in every of two business spacecraft NASA contracted to ferry its astronauts to the Worldwide House Station, the opposite being SpaceX. Elon Musk’s personal launch firm succeeded with its orbital flight take a look at, and subsequently flew people aboard its last demonstration launch, and is now an everyday service supplier for NASA, having carried two teams of astronauts to the ISS for normal excursions of obligation.
Accordingly, all eyes might be on Boeing to see if it might pull this off cleanly, particularly given how a lot time it’s had because the final flight to right any errors and put together. The launch is about for 1:20 PM ET, with stay protection by way of the stream above kicking off round 12:30 PM ET.