Boeing to Launch Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2

Boeing announced the launch of its new Astronaut taxi to the international space station. The uncrewed CST-100 Starliner space capsule is set to take off on July 30 at 2:53 p.m.EDT. 

NASA joined the Boeing space flight test mission on its First flight in December. Now they are getting ready for the second attempt for the Space flight mission. The uncrewed space taxi will lift off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

About OFT-2 Mission

The mission is based on Boeing’s uncrewed test flight. This is about the evaluation of the flight’s capabilities including launch, docking, atmospheric re-entry, and a desert landing in western America.

According to the team’s statement, the mission is about to validate that Starliner is fit for the transport of NASA’s astronauts to and from the space station. 

Starliner flight will dock with the International Space Station about 24 hours after it launches. The spaceflight will carry supplies and test equipment as well as a flight dummy dubbed Rosie the Rocketeer to simulate future crewed missions. 

The agency announced in a statement that Starliner will bring 400 lbs. (181 kilograms) of NASA cargo and crew supplies to the orbiting complex. Then return to Earth with more than 550 lbs. (250 kg) of cargo, the agency said in a statement.

The flight will then return back to Earth on 5th August 2021. With more than 550 lbs. (250 kg) of cargo. It will take the parachute-assisted landing at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.

The mission OFT-2 had seen continuous delays due to scheduling decisions and other issues including technical problems and weather conditions etc. 

Read more: Space Travel: can all travel to space soon

Mishap Of Test Flight-1

The first Starliner test flight launched in December 2019. The Space flight didn’t succeed to reach the space station. There were many technical problems in the launch.  An independent review team found a series of glitches and software issues in the spacecraft. 

NASA review team has shown 61 corrective actions in the flawed space flight. Further 19 more corrective actions are there in the 2nd review. NASA contacted Boeing to address these issues on Starliner. 

Role of NASA in Boeing’s 2nd test Flight

NASA worked in the development of Boeing’s 2nd test flight. It reviewed lessons from Starliner’s first flight. NASA assigned to concern on following factors:

  • Re-verified flight code
  • Taken comprehensive test of flight’s software
  • Performed end to end mission rehearsal for final flight software
  • Checked out hardware and mission operators

NASA stated that it will perform interviews with the project staff members. Starting from a cross-section of personnel, including senior managers, engineers, and technicians. Take out mid-level management and supervision on its ultimate approach.

About Boeing Starliner 

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner is a group of reusable crew capsules.  The design of flight is according to the purpose of transport crew to the International Space Station (ISS) and for other low-Earth orbit destinations. Boeing manufactured it with the addition of  NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

These spacecraft are developed to be compatible with the Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9, and Vulcan Centaur launch vehicles.

Boeing has been awarded millions of dollars from NASA on its commercial Crew programs. 

On 16 September 2014, NASA selected the Boeing Starliner, along with SpaceX Crew Dragon, for the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) program, with an award of US$4.2 billion.

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