Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2: Live updates

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Launch day for Boeing Starliner OFT-2

Boeing’s Starliner OFT-2 spacecraft and its Atlas V rocket roll to the launch pad on May 18, 2022. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

It is launch day once again for Boeing’s Starliner OFT-2 test flight to the International Space Station, with the launch time set for 6:54 p.m. EDT (2254 GMT) tonight. 

Boeing’s second Starliner spacecraft and its Atlas V rocket will launch on an uncrewed test flight to space station to prove its ready to carry astronauts to and from the station for NASA. The mission has been a longtime coming. 

A December 2019 test flight launched into orbit but failed to reach the station. That was OFT-1. Then, in July 2021, an attempt to launch OFT-2 was stalled due to stuck thruster valves. Now, Boeing has addressed the valve issue and is ready to try again. 

The United Launch Alliance, which built the Atlas V rocket, rolled the booster out to its pad at Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station yesterday. The first NASA astronauts who will launch on Starliner – Sunita Williams, Mike Fincke and Butch Wilmore – told reporters Wednesday that they’re excited to watch Starliner launch on its OFT-2 mission since it will set the stage for their own Crew Flight Test-1 mission in the near future. 

NASA’s webcast for the launch will begin at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT). You can watch the Boeing Starliner launch live through liftoff. Here’s a webcast schedule from NASA:

Thursday, May 19

  • 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT): Launch coverage begins NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
  • 6:54 pm EDT (2254 GMT): Launch, with coverage continues through the orbital insertion engine firing for Starliner approximately 31 minutes after liftoff. 
  • 9 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT on May 20): NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 post-launch news conference (time subject to change) 

Friday, May 20

  • 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT): Coverage of the rendezvous and docking at the International Space Station
  • 7:10 p.m. EDT (2310 GMT): Docking 

Saturday, May 21

  • 11:30 a.m. EDT (1530 GMT): Coverage of the opening of the hatch to NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 vehicle at the International Space Station 
  • 11:45 a.m. EDT (1545 GMT): Hatch opening, coverage will continue through welcoming remarks by the crew)
  • 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT): Welcoming remarks by the Expedition 67 crew on the arrival of NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 vehicle to the International Space Station

— Tariq Malik

Starliner on track for May 19 launch of OFT-2 mission

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft rolls out from the company’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 4, 2022.

(Image credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky)

Boeing’s Starliner astronaut taxi is all set for a Thursday (May 19) launch of OFT-2, a crucial uncrewed flight to the International Space Station. 

Boeing, NASA, and United Launch Alliance, which is supplying OFT-2’s Atlas V rocket, held a launch readiness review for the mission today (May 17), and everything went well. “It was short; it was very clean. There’s really no issues that ULA, Boeing or NASA are working for the launch coming up,” Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said during a press conference today. Read our full story here.

NASA, Boeing prelaunch news conference today

NASA and Boeing will hold a prelaunch news conference today, May 17, at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT) to discuss launch plans for Boeing’s OFT-2 Starliner test flight to the International Space Station and you’ll be able to watch it live online. 

The press conference will be carried live on NASA TV and you can watch the briefing on the Space.com homepage at start time. Speaking in the conference will be: 

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Dana Weigel, deputy manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program
  • Gary Wentz, vice president, Government and Commercial Programs, ULA
  • Will Ulrich, launch weather officer, U.S. Space Force, 45th Weather Squadron, Space Launch Delta 45

Boeing’s Starliner OFT-2 mission is scheduled to launch on an Atlas V rocket on May 19 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is set for 6:54 p.m. EDT (2254 GMT). 

The mission is an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station to prove out the Starliner spacecraft’s systems ahead of a crewed commercial flight for NASA.

Starliner is ‘go’ for May 19 launch to space station

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft sits atop its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on May 4, 2022.

(Image credit: United Launch Alliance)

NASA has cleared Boeing’s Starliner capsule for a planned May 19 launch on Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2), a crucial uncrewed mission to the International Space Station.

The decision came after a lengthy flight readiness review on Wednesday (May 11). Read more here.

OFT-2 was originally supposed to launch in August 2021, but technicians discovered that 13 of the 24 oxidizer valves in the capsule’s propulsion system were stuck. Diagnosing and troubleshooting this issue ended taking about eight months.

Starliner will return to the factory for troubleshooting

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Boeing’s Starliner is heading back to the processing facility for additional checks, and the OFT-2 mission is still delayed indefinitely.

“We’ve determined #Starliner will return to our factory for deeper-level troubleshooting of four propulsion system valves. With @NASA, we’ve decided to stand down for this launch window to make way for other national priority missions,” Boeing tweeted today. You can read the full update from Boeing here. 

Starliner OFT-2 update coming today

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and Boeing's Starliner spacecraft sit on Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at sunset on Aug. 2, 2021 for the OFT-2 mission to the International Space Station.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft sit on Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at sunset, on Aug. 2, 2021. (Image credit: ULA)

NASA and Boeing are holding a news conference today at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) to discuss the latest delays of the Starliner OFT-2 mission. You can listen to the teleconference live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA.

Read more: Stuck valves on Boeing’s Starliner keep critical space station test flight on hold

Back inside for Starliner

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Boeing’s Starliner atop its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket has rolled back into the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to allow technicians to continue troubleshooting a glitch that interfered with Tuesday’s scheduled launch. Read more.

Boeing postpones launch indefinitely

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Boeing has decided to step back from the Wednesday (Aug. 4) launch target for Starliner after finding a valve in the propulsion system in an improper position and not being able to quickly identify the cause of the anomaly.

“We’re going to let the data lead our work,” John Vollmer, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program, said in a statement. “Our team has worked diligently to ensure the safety and success of this mission, and we will not launch until our vehicle is performing nominally and our teams are confident it is ready to fly.”

Read our story about the indefinite launch delay here.

Launch is scrubbed

Per Boeing’s Twitter: “We’re confirming today’s #Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 launch is scrubbed. More details soon.”

Countdown enters planned hold

Starliner’s Atlas V rocket has just entered a planned four-hour hold at T-minus four minutes before launch, United Launch Alliance reports on Twitter. The lengthy hold is to simulate the procedures before an astronaut crew enters the spacecraft. While that’s not happening today (this launch is an uncrewed test), ULA says it plans to simulate crew ingress procedures during Orbital Test Flight-2.

Launch forecast at 50 percent

United Launch Alliance reports that the weather forecast stands at 50-50 for the time of the Atlas V launch with Boeing’s Starliner on board, at 1:20 p.m. EDT (1720 GMT). That said, the current weather has “no threat of lightning for the Blue Team’s entrance into the launch pad and for their work” at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, ULA said on Twitter.

Fueling complete

United Launch Alliance sent a Twitter update informing that the fuelling of the Atlas V rocket is complete. The company says the rocket is so far on track to launch on time at 1:20 p.m. EDT (1720 GMT), although of course that will also depend on weather.

Launch preparations continue

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Launch is coming soon! United Launch Alliance personnel are busy filling the rocket’s first stage with fuel about 5 hours before lift-off.

NASA astronauts are excited for the launch

NASA astronauts can’t wait to see Starliner fly today. The mission marks a crucial milestone before they and their colleagues will be able to give the capsule a spin for themselves. Read more.

Atlas V and Starliner are “now in launch position”

Boeing's Starliner capsule and its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket roll out to their launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Aug. 2, 2021.

(Image credit: NASA via Twitter)

The Atlas V rocket and Starliner spacecraft returned to the launch pad early this morning after waiting out the launch delay inside the Vertical Integration Facility. See photos of their second rollout here

“Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is now in launch position on Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida,” Boeing said in an update. “The Starliner, which is mated to the top of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, rolled to the launch pad on train tracks at a speed of about 1 mph from the Vertical Integration Facility, located about 1 mile from the launch site.”

You can preview the OFT-2 mission in a new video animation below:

Back out to the pad!

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After spending the weekend inside in case of bad weather, Starliner and its Atlas V rocket are now headed back out to the launch pad in preparation for tomorrow’s flight.

Weather forecast: 60% go for launch

Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron are now predicting a 60% chance of favorable weather for liftoff on Tuesday.

“The primary weather concerns for launch day are the cumulus cloud rule, lightning rule and thick cloud rule violations during the instantaneous launch window,” NASA officials wrote in an update.

See more

Forecasting launch day’s weather

Will bad weather interfere with Tuesday’s launch? Maybe, or the rocket could blast off before the storms roll in. Read more.

OFT-2 in pictures

While we wait out the launch delay, check out the full story of OFT-2 in photos with this gallery.

Starliner heads back inside

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft aboard is seen as it is rolled back to the Vertical Integration Facility from the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 to avoid inclement weather, Friday, July 30, 2021 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

With launch delayed to no earlier than Tuesday (Aug. 3) and bad weather expected to hit the Space Coast, the Starliner capsule and its Atlas V rocket headed off the launch pad for shelter. Read more here.

New launch date announced

NASA officials announced during a news conference that Starliner will now target launch on Tuesday (Aug. 3) at 1:20 p.m. EDT (1720 GMT). If that launch date holds, the capsule will arrive at the International Space Station on Wednesday (Aug. 4). Read more.

Starliner launch delayed

NASA and Boeing have delayed Friday’s planned launch of the uncrewed Starliner OFT-2 mission and are establishing a new launch date, according to a NASA statement. The delay comes after Russia’s Nauka module briefly tilted the International Space Station by firing its thrusters in an unplanned maneuver that you can read about here.

We’ll update with a new launch date as soon as possible.

“Success in spaceflight is achieved by millions of elements coming together and working in perfect harmony,” Boeing officials wrote in a statement about the delay. “That’s the nature of our business, and that requires patience. We stand ready to launch the CST-100 Starliner when the time is right, as we support NASA on the International Space Station.”

Starliner and Atlas V roll out

ULA’s 172-foot (52 meters) Atlas V rocket, with Starliner secured on top, left the Vertical Integration Facility today (July 29) and rolled out to its launch pad, Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Read our rollout story here.

(Image credit: United Launch Alliance)

L-1 Day!

What’s the big deal with this launch? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out a deep dive on Boeing’s bumpy ride to the launchpad and brush up on every aspect of the mission, from what’s on board to what comes next.

Starliner spends one more night at the VIF

(Image credit: Boeing/Twitter)

Boeing just shared a new photo of its Starliner spacecraft inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station as the Atlas V rocket awaits its delayed rollout to the launchpad, now scheduled for 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) tomorrow (Thursday, July 29). 

“Storms rolled in, so Starliner didnt roll out,” Boeing tweeted today. “#Starliner and #AtlasV are safe in the @ulalaunch Vertical Integration Facility and ready to roll tomorrow morning.”

Atlas V rocket rollout delayed

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket stands ready to receive its precious cargo — Boeing’s Starliner for the OFT-2 mission — at the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, on July 17, 2021.  (Image credit: ULA)

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Boeing had originally planned to transport the Atlas V rocket for the OFT-2 mission to the launchpad this morning, but the rollout has been postponed until Thursday (July 29), beginning at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT). 

“The delay is due to an internet service provider outage that could not be resolved before the onset of predicted weather exceeding operational constraints. The OFT-2 launch, planned for Friday, July 30, at 2:53 p.m. EDT, remains on track,” NASA officials wrote in a blog post

Speaking of weather, currently the forecast is looking only 40% favorable for Starliner’s planned launch on Saturday. “At this time, the probability of violation remains at 60%, with the primary concerns being the Cumulus Cloud, Surface Electric Fields, and Lightning Rules,” the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron said in the latest weather update. 

Boeing’s plan for the flight

Catch up on the plan for Starliner’s second uncrewed launch with this video from Boeing.

Starliner OFT-2 prelaunch briefing starts now!

NASA and Boeing are about to begin today’s prelaunch news conference for the Starliner OFT-2 mission. The briefing begins at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), and you can watch that live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. 

Launch weather update

(Image credit: John Grant/Boeing)

The launch weather forecast for Friday’s planned launch of the Starliner OFT-2 mission currently predicts only a 40% chance of acceptable conditions for liftoff, according to an update from the U.S. Space Force’s Space Launch Delta 45 Weather Squadron

NASA and Boeing officials will hold a prelaunch news conference for OFT-2 tomorrow (July 27) at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT). You can watch that live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. 

(Image credit: Kim Shiflett/NASA)

The CST-100 Starliner capsule has passed its flight readiness review (FRR) for the upcoming liftoff, which will kick off the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2) mission to the station, NASA and Boeing representatives announced today (July 22). Read the full story here.

Over the weekend, engineers mated the Starliner spacecraft to its Atlas V rocket, marking a key milestone ahead of the mission’s launch next week. See the photos here.



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