Boeing is hopeful that the second try of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will be a success. The Starliner is designed to transport astronauts from the U.S. to the NASA International Space Station but is plagued by technical flaws. On Thursday, Boeing will again try to reach the ISS by doing more than testing its Orbital Flight Test, or OFT.
NASA TV will broadcast live for the first launch at 3 p.m. P.T. on May 19. Liftoff is scheduled for 3:54 p.m. P.T. As of Tuesday, the weather had been 70% positive at launch.
The Starliner will catch a lift into space with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, which explodes from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The capsule is packed with 800 pounds (360 kilograms) of cargo and must reach the ISS 24 hours later. No one will be on board, but Rosie the Rocketeer’s anthropomorphic spacecraft will accompany the expedition.
“OFT-2 will test Starliner’s final capabilities from launch to airport arrival, space re-entry, and desertification in the western United States,” NASA said on Monday. “OFT-2 will provide important information to help NASA secure a Boeing crew transport system to transport astronauts to and from the space station.”