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NASA And Boeing Delay OFT-2 Starliner Launch Due To Nauka Issues

By Keith Cowing
July 29, 2021
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NASA And Boeing Delay OFT-2 Starliner Launch Due To Nauka Issues
OFT-2 Starliner

NASA and Boeing have elected to stand down from Friday’s launch attempt of the agency’s second Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2) mission.
Currently, the earliest available launch opportunity is 1:20 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 3. The International Space Station team will use the time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos Nauka multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival.

Launch preparations will resume following a final decision from the International Space Station and Commercial Crew Program teams for the next opportunity to send Starliner on its way to complete the OFT-2 mission, which will set the stage for the first Crew Flight Test.

Earlier Thursday, Starliner atop its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket was moved to its seaside launch pad for standard launch preparations. Teams are assessing moving the vehicle back to its Vehicle Integration Facility to protect it from weather until launch preparations resume. Starliner and Atlas V are in a safe, flight-ready configuration and do not require any near-term servicing.

The Atlas V was assembled throughout July, which included the transfer of Starliner from Boeing’s spacecraft processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Launch Complex 41 for mating atop the rocket.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.