Boeing Starliner OFT-2 launch to space station delayed following Russian module mishap



Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft can have to wait to make its triumphant journey to space. Today (July 29), officers at NASA and Boeing introduced that Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2) mission for its Starliner astronaut taxi will likely be delayed from Friday (July 30) to Tuesday (Aug. 3). The Aug. Three liftoff is scheduled to happen at 1:20 p.m. EDT (1720 GMT), NASA Commercial Crew Program supervisor Steve Stich mentioned in a information convention as we speak. This delay follows a mishap with Russia’s Nauka module, which docked with the International Space Station this morning. “NASA and Boeing have decided to stand down from Friday’s launch attempt of the agency’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission,” NASA wrote in a press release. “Currently, launch teams are assessing the next available opportunity. The move allows the International Space Station team time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos’ Nauka module and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival.”Live updates: Follow Boeing’s Starliner OFT-2 mission hereRelated: Everything you want to learn about Boeing’s Starliner OFT-2 missionThis morning, the Russian space company Roscosmos’ Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), had a bumpy trip to the orbiting lab earlier than it efficiently docked at 9:29 a.m. EDT (1329 GMT). Also often known as “Nauka” (“Science” in Russian), the brand new section launched July 21 and will likely be Russia’s major analysis module on the International Space Station. Once it lastly docked, issues did not get rather more easily. Just over three hours after docking, space station cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov ready to open the hatch between Nauka and the Russian Zvezda module, the place the pair had been ready. But because the cosmonauts ready to open the hatch between the modules, Nauka’s thrusters fired “inavertently and unexpectedly,” NASA spokesperson Rob Navias mentioned throughout a dwell broadcast of the docking on NASA TV. This moved the station 45 levels out of angle, NASA shared on Twitter. Russia’s Nauka multipurpose logistics module docks to the Earth-facing facet of the Zvezda service module on the International Space Station on Thursday, July 29, 2021. (Image credit score: NASA TV)”The crew is not in any danger, never was in any danger and attitude control has been regained,” Navias mentioned through the dwell broadcast after the space station regained its place. “There was no immediate danger at any time to the crew,” space station program supervisor Joel Montalbano instructed Space.com through the information convention. “Obviously, when you have a loss of attitude control, that’s something you want to address right away. But the crew was never in any immediate emergency or anything like that.””You ask the crew, ‘Hey, did the space station shake or anything like that?’ and the response was negative. We didn’t see anything like that,” he added.Additionally, Montalbano mentioned, as of proper now, “we haven’t noticed any damage to the ISS … one of the things we do after a dynamic event like this is go ahead and sit down with our structural loads team and review all the data, go pull all the telemetry and take a look at it and do an assessment, and so that’ll be ongoing.”After the orbiting lab was again in place, the groups managing Nauka labored to forestall any followup unplanned thruster firing. However, whereas company officers have assured the protection of the seven astronauts on board station, the crew on board did shut the space station’s protecting shutters throughout that point. They have since opened the shutters again up. Throughout these occasions, mission groups on the bottom acted shortly and proceed to consider the scenario. “What we saw today was just an awesome job by the flight control team. Those guys were rock stars and got us back in attitude control,” Montalbano mentioned.He added that the scenario “shows you what a robust vehicle we have and our ability to take these contingencies, recover from them and move on.”Montalbano did observe, nonetheless, that in this course of, floor groups did lose communication with the station’s astronauts a few instances, with the longest communication drop-out being seven minutes. The hassle with Nauka hasn’t been the one hassle going through Starliner’s July 30 deliberate launch date as thunderstorms have plagued the launch web site in Florida all week. For July 30, mission groups estimated a 50% probability of excellent climate, a difficult chance. “Starliner is ready,” NASA tweeted after saying Starliner’s delay Thursday. “The move allows the @Space_Station team time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos’ Nauka module and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival.”Starliner is Boeing’s crew spacecraft designed to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. Like SpaceX with its Crew Dragon automobile, Boeing’s Starliner was created with funding and help from NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is secured atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, on July 17, 2021. (Image credit score: John Grant/Boeing)OFT-2 comes after OFT-1, the craft’s first tried uncrewed check flight, suffered anomalies that prevented it from rendezvousing with the space station in December 2019. Following an in-depth investigation by a joint Boeing-NASA staff, Boeing has addressed all points with the automobile. Following the profitable completion of the OFT-2 mission, Boeing plans to start launching operational crewed missions aboard Starliner to the International Space Station as SpaceX has carried out with its Crew Dragon automobile throughout its Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions. Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@space.com or comply with her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.



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