NASA astronauts living aboard the International Space Station closed the hatch of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft at 3 p.m. EDT (12 p.m. PDT) Tuesday, May 25. The uncrewed spacecraft is scheduled to autonomously undock from the space station to begin the journey home at 2:36 p.m. EDT (11:36 a.m. PDT) Wednesday, May 25. NASA and Boeing are targeting 6:49 p.m. EDT (3:49 p.m. PDT) for the landing and conclusion of Orbital Flight Test-2, wrapping up a six-day mission testing the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system.
Teams are targeting White Sands Space Harbor at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as the primary landing site, with a backup White Sands opportunity Friday, May 27. The spacecraft will return with more than 600 pounds of cargo, including Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System reusable tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members. The tanks will be refurbished on Earth and sent back to the space station on a future flight.
Aboard the International Space Station, the unpiloted Boeing Starliner spacecraft hatch was closed and farewell remarks were given by NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on May 24. Starliner is slated to undock from the space station on May 25 after completing a series of test objectives. Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) will land at White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico. This test flight comes as a precursor to a future crewed Starliner test flight. Credit: NASA
NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website will continue to provide live coverage of the upcoming return activities for OFT-2 Wednesday, Thursday, May 25, as Starliner prepares to undock and return to Earth. Return coverage on NASA TV is as follows and all times are subject to change based on mission operations (all times are Eastern):
Wednesday, May 25
2 p.m. – TV coverage begins for the 2:36 p.m. undocking. NASA will break coverage after the spacecraft exits joint operations with the space station.
5:45 p.m. – Coverage begins for 6:05 p.m. deorbit burn and 6:49 p.m. landing in the western United States.
9 p.m. – Return to Earth news conference on NASA TV from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston:
- Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
- Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
- Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
- Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 6:54 p.m. EDT (3:54 p.m. EDT) on May 19 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and successfully docked to the International Space Station’s Harmony module for the first time on May 20 at 8:28 p.m. EDT ( 5:28 p.m. PDT).