NASA and Boeing “Go” for Historic Starliner Test Mission

Boeing Starliner ULA Rocket

NASA, Boeing, and ULA officials finalized the prelaunch details for the first crewed flight of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, set to transport two astronauts to the ISS. Credit: Boeing

Officials finalize preparations for Boeing’s Starliner first crewed flight to the ISS, with a high likelihood of favorable weather for the upcoming Monday launch.

NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) officials discussed final prelaunch details to send two astronauts aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station as the first crewed flight for Starliner. The prelaunch news conference finished at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“We are going to have a whole new adventure. This is very much a part of our exploration of space and what I call the ‘golden age of space exploration,’” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “It’s a historical day. It’s a wonderful day.”

Officials provided updates to the countdown of the 10:34 p.m. EDT Monday, May 6, launch of NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore, commander, and Suni Williams, pilot, on the Starliner spacecraft as part of NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test mission. The crew is set to dock at the space station on Wednesday, May 8, for about a week-long stay before returning to Earth with a parachute and airbag-assisted landing in the southwestern United States.

“It’s exciting to bring Starliner and a United launch Alliance Atlas vehicle online,” said Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “We have been striving for commercial crew to have two independent space transportation systems. That’s been our goal from commercial crew since its inception, and we’re very close to reaching that goal with the launch on Monday.”

Brian Cizek, launch weather officer with the 45th Weather Squadron, predicts a 95% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch, with the cumulus cloud rule being the primary weather concern.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team. We’re at peak performance right now and we are really excited to execute this launch. We’re ready to go,” said Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Commercial Crew Program, Boeing.

At 3:30 p.m., NASA hosted a social media briefing (see video above) with the following participants:

  • NASA Associate Administrator Jim Free
  • Ian Kappes, deputy launch vehicle office manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Amy Comeau Denker, Starliner associate chief engineer, Boeing
  • Caleb Weiss, system engineering and test leader, ULA

On Saturday, May 4, the ULA Atlas V rocket and Starliner spacecraft will roll out to the pad at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Launch is scheduled for 10:34 p.m. Monday, May 6.

Here is a list of other upcoming events leading up to the mission:

All times U.S. Eastern, which equates to UTC-4.

All television broadcasts are carried on NASA TV’s Public and Media channels.

Audio streams are not carried on NASA TV and will be available on this page or via a link posted here.

TV Schedule for NASAs Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test (Rev. A)

Monday, May 6

6:30 p.m.—Launch coverage of NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test, with NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, to the International Space Station. Launch is scheduled for 10:34 p.m.

  • On NASA+, coverage will continue until after the spacecraft reaches orbit.
  • On NASA TV, coverage will continue through docking, hatch opening and welcome remarks Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, May 7

12 a.m.—NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test postlaunch news conference. Stream live on NASA+ and NASA TV Public Channel. Mission operational coverage will continue on NASA Television’s Media Channel during the news conference. Once the postlaunch news conference is complete, mission coverage will continue on both NASA Television channels.

10:15 p.m.—Coverage of NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test continues on NASA TV’s Public Channel and resumes on NASA+. Docking is scheduled for 12:48 a.m. on May 8. Hatch opening is scheduled for 2:35 a.m. on May 8, followed by crew welcoming remarks at approx. 3:15 a.m.

Wednesday, May 8

4:15 a.m.—NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test post-docking news conference. Stream live on NASA+

Friday, May 10

11:40 a.m.—ISS Expedition 71 in-flight interview for KMGH-TV, Denver, with NASA flight engineer Matt Dominick. Stream live on NASA+

Tuesday, May 14

12:10 p.m.—ISS Expedition 71 educational in-flight event for the TRIO Upward Bound Program at the Desert Vista Campus of Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., with NASA flight engineers Tracy Dyson and Mike Barrat

Thursday, May 16

11:40 a.m.—ISS Expedition 71 educational in-flight event for the New York Hall of Science in Corona, N.Y., with NASA flight engineer Jeanette Epps

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