Boeing and NASA’s Starliner Capsule Crewed Launch Targeted for June 2nd

Boeing, NASA, and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) are currently aiming for a crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule on June 2nd at 12:03 PM ET. This comes after the scrubbing of the launch less than 4 minutes before liftoff on June 1st. The delay was due to a computer, specifically a ground launch sequencer, not entering the correct operational configuration, prompting an automatic hold. ULA CEO Tory Bruno stated that one of the three redundant launch sequencers was slow to respond, causing the issue. The team is investigating the cause, and if the fix is as simple as replacing a card, the launch will proceed as planned on the 2nd. Otherwise, it will be pushed back to June 5th or 6th.

The upcoming flight is intended to transport two US astronauts, Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, to the International Space Station (ISS). This will be the first time Starliner will carry human beings on board, marking a significant milestone for the spacecraft that has faced numerous delays in the past. Once at the ISS, Wilmore and Williams will conduct testing of the Starliner and its subsystems as part of NASA’s final certification process for rotational missions to the space station.

Boeing’s Starliner previously had to scrub its May 6th launch due to an issue with a pressure regulation valve in its Atlas V rocket. Additionally, the spacecraft has a helium leak that NASA has chosen not to repair, deeming it non-threatening to the mission. Fixing the leak would result in further delays, which the team aims to avoid. Despite facing setbacks, including a failed mission in 2019, Starliner managed to successfully dock with the ISS in 2022 during an unmanned mission. The spacecraft is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which involves collaboration with private companies to develop innovative spacecraft. SpaceX is also part of this program and has been launching NASA astronauts since 2020.

Viewers can look forward to watching the Starliner launch on YouTube and the NASA Plus service. The NASA Plus service offers an app that is accessible on various streaming devices, providing a convenient way to follow the mission’s progress and live stream events related to the launch. NASA will also be streaming the docking of Starliner at the ISS, allowing audiences to witness this crucial moment in the mission.

The upcoming crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule represents a significant step in the spacecraft’s journey to becoming a reliable means of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station. Despite facing challenges and delays in the past, the team is committed to ensuring a successful mission on June 2nd and advancing the capabilities of commercial spacecraft in partnership with NASA.

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