On Wednesday morning, May 18, 2022, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket rolled out of the ULA Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida ahead of the uncrewed launch of NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) to the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for 6:54 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 19.
For a launch Thursday, meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict a 70% chance of favorable weather. The primary weather concerns for launch day are the cumulus and anvil cloud rules violations during the instantaneous launch window.
NASA associate administrator Bob Cabana, Kennedy Space Center Director Janet Petro, associate administrator for NASA Space Operations Mission Directorate, Kathryn Lueders, and NASA astronauts, Suni Williams, Mike Fincke, Barry “Butch” Wilmore participate in a media briefing ahead of NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) on May 18, 2022. Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on a mission to dock with the space station. The uncrewed OFT-2 will be the Starliner’s second flight test for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Credit: NASA/Michelle Stone
NASA leaders provided updates on OFT-2 during a briefing (see video above). Participants included:
- Bob Cabana, NASA associate administrator
- Janet Petro, director, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
- Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA
- NASA astronaut Suni Williams
- NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore
- NASA astronaut Mike Fincke
NASA TV will cover the upcoming prelaunch, launch, and docking activities. Mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):
Thursday, May 19
6 p.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins for a targeted 6:54 p.m. liftoff. NASA TV will have continuous coverage through Starliner orbital insertion.
9 p.m. (approximately) – Postlaunch news conference on NASA TV
Friday, May 20
3:30 p.m. – NASA TV rendezvous and docking coverage begins.
7:10 p.m. (approximately) – Docking
Friday, May 21
11:30 a.m. – NASA TV hatch opening coverage begins
11:45 a.m. – (approximately) Hatch opening and welcoming remarks
Good ol’ NASA. Will not stop using Boeing until they kill 20 more Astronauts.