United Launch Alliance will not be proceeding with a launch of the Boeing Starliner today as had been previously indicated.
The launch team has cycled the Service Module propulsion system valves and is not going to rush in gathering the data for what the next steps should be to remediate this situation. Software has been ruled out by ULA as the cause of the unexpected position indications.
The Atlas V rocket and the Boeing Starliner spacecraft are now being rolled back to the company’s Vertical Integration Facility for in-depth inspections and testing to continue the investigations as to what the next steps should be for the OFT-2 mission. There has been no indication as to when another launch attempt will be scheduled as of this writing.
Previous information posting…
For the second time, United Launch Alliance, NASA and Boeing have decided to postpone the launch of the Starliner spacecraft aboard the assigned Atlas V rocket, from which the propellant is now being removed.
According to sources, there were unexpected valve position indications that halted the launch. The next target date for an attempted launch is Wednesday, August 4, at 12:57 a.m., ET.
Earlier information posting…
NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch, launch, and docking activities for the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station. OFT-2 is the second uncrewed flight for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. The mission is targeted to launch at 1:20 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 3
Starliner will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. About 30 minutes after launch, Starliner will perform its orbital insertion burn to begin its daylong trip to the space station. The spacecraft is scheduled to dock to the space station at 1:37 p.m. Wednesday, August 4. Launch and docking coverage will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app as well as the agency’s website.
The spacecraft will carry more than 400 pounds of NASA cargo and crew supplies to the space station and will return to Earth with more than 550 pounds of cargo, including the reusable Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members.
OFT-2 will demonstrate the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner spacecraft and Atlas V rocket, from launch, to docking, to a return to Earth with a desert landing in the western United States. The uncrewed mission will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying Boeing’s crew transportation system for regular flights to and from the space station.
NASA TV live coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules, and links to streaming video, visit: www.nasa.gov/nasatv
A quick note: Software has been blamed by a Russian space official for the problem that occurred at the ISS for the newly docked science lab module. For 47 minutes on Thursday, July 29, the Nauka science lab accidentally fired its thrusters after docking with the space station. That action pushed the ISS from its normal configuration and that interrupted the collection of solar power to the ISS’ panels and well as for space comms to Earth, as those were interupted twice on that date, as well. This misfire also negated the launch of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft by ULA, requiring a rescheduling of the launch.