After facing several delays, Boeing’s Starliner is now officially set to launch on Wednesday at 12:57pm ET, weather permitting. The mission is a test that will take the capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) and back sans humans more than a year and a half after its first test flight.
Update, 8/4/21 10:24 am Eastern: NASA and Boeing are standing down from this launch opportunity to further examine propulsion system issues.
Starliner was originally scheduled to launch on July 30, 2021, but Boeing and NASA delayed the date due to a mishap at the International Space Station. It was then delayed until August 3 at 1:20pm ET, but three hours before liftoff, a technical issue was detected, and it was pushed back yet again.
Provided everything goes to plan and there are no further issues, the Starliner will launch at the next available window, at 12:57pm ET. Want to watch the launch? No problem. NASA streams all of its launches, starting approximately one hour before liftoff. You can watch the feed here (below) or on the NASA Live page.
Tomorrow, Starliner is launching on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Roughly 30 minutes after liftoff, it will perform its orbital insertion burn to begin its daylong voyage to the ISS. NASA will also air live coverage of the capsule docking with the station.
The capsule is carrying over 400 pounds of supplies and NASA cargo for those aboard the space station, and will return with more than 550 pounds of cargo. Among the items that will come back to Earth from the ISS are reusable Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System tanks that provide breathable air for the crew. The flight will also provide important data to NASA regarding the potential certification of Boeing’s transportation system for regular flights to and from the International Space Station.
We hope you join us tomorrow as we watch this important launch!