NASA will provide live coverage of the upcoming return activities for the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2). It lifted off at 6:54 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. As part of the uncrewed flight test, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will depart from the International Space Station for a landing in the western United States.
The spacecraft is scheduled to autonomously undock from the space station to begin the journey home at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25. NASA and Boeing are targeting 6:49 p.m. for the landing and conclusion of OFT-2, wrapping up a six-day mission testing the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system.
In advance of Starliner’s return, commercial crew astronauts at the space station will speak with NASA leadership and make farewell remarks prior to closing the hatch to the uncrewed spacecraft.
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 refilled on Earth and sent back to the space station on a future flight.
NASA’s Boeing OFT-2 return coverage on NASA TV is as follows and all times are subject to change based on mission operations (all times are Eastern):
Tuesday, May 24
12:20 p.m. – NASA Administrator event on Starliner’s flight test with commercial crew astronauts at station
12:55 p.m. – Starliner farewell ceremony
1:30 p.m. – Hatch closure TV coverage begins for 1:55 p.m. hatch closing
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