The launch is targeting 1:20 p.m. EDT (5:20 p.m. GMT), and current weather conditions favor afternoon showers and thunderstorms along Florida’s east coast, according to the 45th Weather Squadron, which monitors launch conditions from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Base. There is a 40% chance that the weather will allow Tuesday’s launch, according to the office’s current forecast, which suggests Starliner may be able to take off from the platform before the troubled weather sets in.“The greater convection blanket should be maintained until after the launch window,” squadron officials wrote in a statement. declaration published Saturday (July 31). “Still, a weather-related violation is possible due to isolated showers and thunderstorms in the area, especially towards the end of the count. ”
A report: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2: Live Updates
In picture: Boeing’s Starliner Orbital Test Flight 2 mission to the International Space Station
In particular, the office monitors the formation of cumulus clouds, surface electric fields and the potential risk of lighting.
The same harsh weather conditions that worried launch personnel also prompted the mission team to roll out Starliner and its Atlas V rocket. Come back inside from the launch pad, where it arrived on Thursday (July 29) in preparation for a launch on Friday (July 30). Although weather conditions were also a concern for this launch date, the mission was postponed after the International Space Station spent about 45 minutes Thursday out of its proper orientation when a software problem set off the thrusters of a newly arrived Russian science module.
If Starliner cannot be launched on Tuesday, the next opportunity will be Wednesday (August 4). Each time the capsule takes off, the launch will begin a day-long hike to the International Space Station, where it will spend less than a week before returning to Earth to land in the western United States.
The launch, called Orbital flight test-2 or OFT-2, marks a crucial milestone for Boeing’s Starliner system, which first attempted an unmanned test flight to the space station in December 2019. However, a series of problems prevented the capsule from reaching the orbiting laboratory and returned to Earth without accomplishing her main mission. : prove that the system is ready to transport astronauts.
Nineteen months later, after responding to 80 recommendations produced by NASA and Boeing’s flight failure investigations, Starliner is ready to attempt the flight again. A successful mission would pave the way for three NASA astronauts to be launched later this year for a crewed flight test, which in turn would allow Boeing to start regularly transporting astronauts to orbit, as competitor SpaceX has already. started doing it with the Crew dragon capsule.
Email Meghan Bartels at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.