NASA and Boeing are about to launch an orbital test flight of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in a crucial mission that follows a failed effort in 2019.
The uncrewed mission will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday, May 19, using a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.
ULA has shared a wonderfully detailed video (below) showing exactly how it expects the mission to unfold.
Assuming the test flight goes to plan, the Starliner will dock with the International Space Station (ISS) about 24 hours after launch. It’ll stay at the station for up to 10 days before returning to Earth in a parachute-assisted landing in New Mexico.
What to expect
The livestream of the uncrewed mission will include footage of the build-up to launch, as well as the launch itself. Multiple cameras will capture footage of ULA’s Atlas V rocket as it blasts Boeing’s Starliner to space. If the video feed remains intact, the broadcast will also include main engine cutoff followed by stage separation, and, just short of 15 minutes after launch, the all-important deployment of the Starliner spacecraft.
In the first mission in 2019, software issues shortly after deployment meant the Starliner failed to reach its intended orbit, preventing it from traveling to the ISS. With that in mind, it’d be a good idea to stick with the livestream after deployment for the very latest news on the spacecraft’s journey. Boeing Space’s Twitter account will also post updates.
How to watch
Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 is currently scheduled to launch from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 6:54 p.m. ET (3:54 p.m. PT) on Thursday, May 19.
You can watch the mission via the video player embedded at the top of this page, or by heading to NASA’s website, which will carry the same real-time feed. Coverage will begin at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).
There’s always a chance that last-minute technical issues or poor weather conditions will prompt NASA to delay the launch. We’ll endeavor to update this page with the latest information. Alternatively, you can check Boeing Space’s tweets for mission updates.
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