Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is currently en route to the International Space Station (ISS) after being successfully launched aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday evening.
The spacecraft, which is on its second unmanned test flight after a failed mission in 2019, is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Friday, May 20 at 7:10 p.m. ET (4:10 p.m. PT).
Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2), as the mission is known, is crucial for Boeing as it aims to prove that it has finally solved the myriad of problems that ruined the first test flight and also a second launch attempt in August prevented last year.
In addition to serving as a test flight, the spacecraft also carries 500 pounds of cargo for the station.
If the Starliner docks with the space station Friday and successfully returns to Earth in a parachute-assisted landing in New Mexico next week, the next test flight will include a crew.
Assuming the manned flight to the ISS goes as planned, NASA will finally have another means of transport for astronaut missions to and from the ISS, alongside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The live stream shows the Starliner steadily approaching the Station, with a real-time audio transmission between Mission Control in Houston and the crew on the ISS also included in the broadcast.
We’ll also see Boeing’s spacecraft attempt to dock with the space station for the very first time. Starliner, like the Crew Dragon, has an automatic docking system designed to allow it to autonomously connect to the orbital outpost.
Friday’s docking maneuver is a highly anticipated part of the mission, as the spacecraft never got this far during its first test flight three years ago.
NASA will begin its live stream of the Starliner’s arrival at the Space Station on Friday, May 20 at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT).
Actual docking is scheduled to take place approximately three and a half hours later at 7:10 p.m. ET (4:10 p.m. PT).
You can view or visit the live stream using the video player embedded at the top of this page NASA websitecarrying the same feed.
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