NASA, Boeing Targeting No Earlier Than March 25 for Launch of Starliner’s Second Uncrewed Flight Test

By  //  January 26, 2021

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critical developmental milestone on the company’s path to fly crew missions for NASA

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, left, Mike Fincke, and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson, right, pose for a photograph on Sept. 11, 2019, as they, along with teams from NASA, Boeing and the White Sands Missile Range, rehearse landing and crew extraction from Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner. (Boeing Image)

OFT-2 is a critical developmental milestone on the company’s path to fly crew missions for NASA to the International Space Station.

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – NASA and Boeing are targeting no earlier than Thursday, March 25, for the launch of Starliner’s second uncrewed flight test as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) is a critical developmental milestone on the company’s path to fly crew missions for NASA.

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is designed, built, tested and flown by a team committed to safely, reliably and sustainably transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

The target launch date is enabled by an opening on the Eastern Range; the availability of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket; steady progress on hardware and software; and an International Space Station docking opportunity.

The company recently mated the spacecraft’s reusable crew module atop its brand-new service module inside the Starliner production factory at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Boeing recently mated the spacecraft’s reusable crew module atop its brand-new service module inside the Starliner production factory at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Boeing image)

Teams are working to complete outfitting of the vehicle’s interior before loading cargo and conducting final spacecraft checkouts.

Boeing also recently completed the formal requalification of Starliner’s OFT-2 flight software. Teams conducted a full software review and several series of tests to verify Starliner’s software meets design specifications.

Boeing also will complete an end-to-end simulation of the OFT-2 test flight using flight hardware and final versions of Starliner’s flight software to model the vehicle’s expected behavior before flight.

The OFT-2 mission will launch Starliner on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, dock to the space station and return to land in the western United States about a week later as part of an end-to-end test flight to prove the system is ready to fly crew.

Learn more about Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner by visiting www.boeing.com/starliner

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