LIVE Blog: Boeing Starliner OFT-2 Launch

LIVE Blog: Boeing Starliner OFT-2 Launch
The Atlas V rocket with the Starliner spacecraft on top at Space Launch Complex-41. This photo was taken this morning. Credit: ULA

Today’s Atlas V launch with Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft has been scrubbed. New launch date: TBD This blog will be updated as more information comes in.

9:00 pm CT UPDATE: NASA and Boeing have decided not to proceed with a new launch attempt August 4th. ULA will roll the Atlas V rocket back to the Vehicle Integration Facility so engineers can better work the issue with the Starliner Service Module reaction control valves. Until engineers understand what is causing this issue, a new launch date will not be set.

11:04 am CT UPDATE: Boeing has has confirmed that today’s scrub was caused due to a “unexpected valve position indication” in the Starliner propulsion system. CBS News Space Correspondent Bill Harwood reports that “Boeing said the valve position issue was detected during pad checkouts yesterday after electrical storms in the area; sources said a lightning strike was, in fact, detected near LC-41, but not known what impact, if any, that might have had”

NASA and Boeing are working toward a new launch attempt for tomorrow August 4. When the launch time is confirmed we will update here and on twitter @CosmicChicago .

9:34 am CT Status Update: The launch will conduct a 24 hour recycle. This means that the launch will be attempted tomorrow August 4th at around the same time. When we have more information we will update.

9:29 am CT Status Update: Today’s launch has been scrubbed. Will update this blog when we have more information.

9:21 am CT Status Update: The Atlas V launch countdown has entered a planned 4 hour built in hold. This hold allows controllers time to work any issues that may come up. So far the launch vehicle and Starliner are doing great! The weather forecast for today’s launch remains acceptable. No threat of lightning is expected. Chances today remain 50/50.

Fueling of the Atlas V rocket has been completed as well. The Centaur second stage is also fueled and ready to go.

Today’s flight test will demonstrate performance capabilities of the Atlas V Guidance Navigation & Control systems as well as docking, re-entry and landing operations. The Atlas V will deliver Starliner spacecraft into an initial 98 nautical mile sub-orbital trajectory before Starliner’s own engines will burn, taking it the rest of the way to orbit and toward the International Space Station.

This is Boeing’s second Orbital Flight Test mission. Its first mission was cut short due to an internal mission timer anomaly on Starliner. Quick action from ground controllers placed Starliner into a lower but stable orbit. After checking over Starliner systems, NASA and Boeing decided to cancel rendezvous and docking with the Space Station. Although its mission was cut short. Starliner was able to demonstrate better than nominal performance during launch, orbital flight, reentry, and landing.

Today’s flight, Orbital Flight Test – 2 (OFT-2), is expected to fly a full mission profile. Testing Starliner systems from pre-launch to docking, undocking, landing and recovery. Starliner will execute a number of demonstrations on its way to the International Space Station. Examples include its ability to hold docking attitude, receive commands from the ISS, and command holds and retreats during final approach. Once docked Starliner will undergo a number of checkouts like charging the batteries, transferring files through Station for downlink, transferring cargo, and opening and closing the hatch.

(Michael Galindo contributed updates to this blog)

Filed under: News

Tags: Boeing, OFT2, Starliner

Leave a comment