NASA clears Boeing Starliner for July 30th test flight to ISS

More than 18 months after its failed first try to make it to the International Space Station, Boeing’s Starliner is prepared for a second shot. Following a flight readiness review, NASA is transferring ahead with the craft’s upcoming July 30th uncrewed orbital flight test. Unless there’s an unexpected delay, the capsule will launch from the Space Force’s Cape Canaveral Station mounted on an Atlas V rocket at 2:53PM ET. Should NASA postpone the flight, it would once more try to perform the test on August third on the earliest.

The objective of the flight is for NASA to conduct an end-to-end test of Starliner’s capabilities. It desires to know if the capsule can deal with each side of a visit to the ISS, together with launch, docking in addition to atmospheric re-entry. “[Orbital Flight Test-2] will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s crew transportation system to carry astronauts to and from the space station,” the company mentioned.

If the flight is successful, NASA will transfer ahead with a crewed test of the Starliner. Steve Stich, business crew program supervisor at NASA, mentioned that might occur “as soon as later this year.” Both Boeing and NASA have quite a bit invested within the viability of Starliner. For the aerospace company, its determination not to conduct an end-to-end test of the craft earlier than its failed 2019 flight left the company “surprised,” main to questions concerning the project. Meanwhile, NASA is eager to have two capsules that may ferry its astronauts to the ISS. Right now, it’s restricted to simply SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. “It’s very important for the commercial crew program to have two space transportation systems,” Stich advised reporters.

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