More than 18 months after failed first attempt to reach the International Space Station, Boeing’s Starliner is ready for a second shot. After a flight readiness review, NASA is moving forward with the upcoming flight test of the upcoming July 30th. If there is no unforeseen delay, the capsule will be launched from the Cape Canaveral space force station mounted on the Atlas V rocket at 14:53 ET. If NASA delays the flight, it will try to report the test again on August 3 at the earliest.
The purpose of the flight is for NASA to conduct a comprehensive Starliner capability test. He wants to know if the capsule can handle every aspect of traveling on the ISS, including launching, docking as well as re-entering the atmosphere. “[Orbital Flight Test-2] will provide valuable data to help NASA certify Boeing’s astronaut-carrying crew system to and from the space station, ”the agency said.
If the flight succeeds, NASA will move forward with the Starliner crew test. Steve Stich, commercial crew manager at NASA, said it could happen “as soon as this year.” Both Boeing and NASA have invested heavily in the sustainability of Starliner. For the airline, the decision not to do that lead from end to end the aircraft test before the failed 2019 flight left the agency “surprised,” which led to questions about the project. Meanwhile, NASA wants to have two capsules that can take astronauts to the ISS. It is currently limited to SpaceX only Dragon crew. “It is very important that the commercial crew program has two space transport systems,” Stich told reporters.
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