Back on December 20, 2019, what was supposed to be the last test of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft before it could send NASA astronauts into space failed when the rocket failed to reach the proper orbit needed to get to the Station International Space (ISS). NASA said at the time that despite a successful launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida, the rocket was “not in its intended orbit” and was “currently in a stable configuration” while flight controllers were helping out.
Then, on December 23, 2019, NASA celebrated the safe return of the Boeing Starliner to Earth. The event marked the first landing of a human-capable capsule in US history.
Boeing Starliner is ready to try again
“NASA and Boeing are continuing their plans for the unmanned Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station after a full day of briefings and discussions during a Flight Readiness Review held at the Kennedy The agency’s Space Center in Florida, ”read a statement from NASA.
The launch of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for 2:53 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 30 from Space Launch Complex-41 on the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station as part of the program. NASA Commercial Crew. ”
Many are counting on this next step because if the flight proves successful, NASA will move forward with a crewed test of the Starliner. This is crucial for NASA which now relies only on SpaceX for crewed flights.
NASA will perform an end-to-end test of Starliner’s capabilities to assess whether the capsule can handle all aspects of a journey to the International Space Station, including launch, docking as well as atmospheric re-entry. If all goes well, NASA will then have two vehicles to take the astronauts into space and this is no small feat!