Boeing Starliner Set to Launch on Delayed Unmanned Cargo Mission to ISS on Tuesday
16:23 GMT 02.08.2021 (Updated: 16:24 GMT 02.08.2021)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft designed for a manned flight will launch on its second test un-crewed cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday after a delay from last week over weather conditions, NASA announced.
“Starliner will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida,” the agency said in a press release. “The mission is targeted to launch at 1:20 pm EDT [Eastern Daylight Time] Tuesday, August 3.”
About 30 minutes after launch, Starliner will perform its orbital insertion burn to begin its daylong trip to the space station, the agency said.
“The spacecraft is scheduled to dock [at] the space station at 1:37 pm [EDT] Wednesday, August 4,” the release said.
The US space agency described the OFT-2 flight as “an important un-crewed mission designed to test the end-to-end capabilities of the new system for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.”
The spacecraft will carry more than 400 pounds of NASA cargo and crew supplies to the ISS, NASA said.
It will then return to Earth with more than 550 pounds of cargo, including reusable Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members, the agency added.
“OFT-2 will demonstrate the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner spacecraft and Atlas V rocket from launch to docking to a return to Earth in the desert of the western United States,” the US space agency said in an earlier release.
The uncrewed mission will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying Boeing’s crew transportation system for regular flights with astronauts to and from the ISS, the agency noted.
The test launch was originally scheduled for last Friday but was delayed because of weather conditions in the area, the space agency acknowledged.
Starliner's previous and first uncrewed test mission was in December 2019, when it failed to dock with the ISS because of an orbit insertion anomaly.