A new experimental mission for the unmanned Boeing capsule that is expected to carry astronauts to the International Space Station is scheduled for Tuesday, after the failure of a first attempt in 2019.
The spacecraft, named “Starliner”, is expected to be launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 13:20 local time (1720 GMT) aboard an Atlas 5 rocket manufactured by the United Launch Alliance consortium.
The US space agency (NASA) will transmit this mission called “Orbital Flight Test-2” (OFT-2) directly on its website.
Approximately 30 minutes after take-off, Starliner will move its thrusters to enter orbit and head to the International Space Station, on a journey that is expected to last a day and end with docking at the station at 13:37 (17:37 GMT) on Wednesday.
The chances of completing the mission are 60%, according to meteorologists, who expect an overcast sky where lightning may shine.
This experimental mission was supposed to take place on Friday, but it was postponed to Tuesday after a Russian spacecraft started its engines to propulsion suddenly after it docked with the International Space Station, and its direction changed.
NASA, which halted its space shuttle program in 2011, used the services of Boeing and SpaceX so that it would not have to rely on Russian rockets to reach the International Space Station. However, Boeing was late in this regard.
During a first test mission in December 2019, its capsule failed to dock with the International Space Station, and returned ahead of schedule, which dealt a severe blow to the aeronautics giant.
NASA has prepared a series of recommendations for the company, specifically related to the on-board software that was behind the main problem during that test flight. As for “SpaceX”, it made progress, for its part, and transported ten astronauts to the station in its “Crow Dragon” vehicle.
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