Today, Boeing, NASA and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) hope to finally have a successful crewed launch of Boeing’s new CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

The launch is scheduled for 10:52 a.m. ET.

That’s when, with just three minutes and 50 seconds left on the clock on their second launch attempt Saturday, astronauts Sunny Williams and Beech Wilmore were strapped in and ready to go.

“We got really close today,” said Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s commercial crew program, at a news conference after the launch call-down.

“I know it’s a little disappointing. We’re all excited. It’s kind of like spaceflight.”

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore, left, and Sunny Williams, wearing Boeing spacesuits, check out at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Launch Complex 41 to board the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. They are seen preparing to leave the building. for the crew flight test launch, June 1 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

At that news conference, officials said the countdown clock on ULA’s Atlas V rocket had automatically stopped due to a “power distribution source failure,” which initially halted the launch. However, the rocket had an immediate launch window, meaning it had to be launched at a precise time.

Teams swapped parts over the weekend.

“I appreciate all the work the NASA, Boeing and ULA teams have done over the past week,” Stich said.

“In particular, the ULA team worked very hard to quickly learn more about these issues, keep our NASA and Boeing teams informed and safe for this next effort. Let’s take it one step at a time.” will.”

A long road

In 2014, NASA contracted both SpaceX and Boeing to provide a new spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), as the space agency ended its space shuttle program and relied entirely on Russian Soyuz rockets.

SpaceX successfully began sending astronauts to the ISS in 2020. However, Boeing has faced several setbacks and cost overruns, and has yet to conduct a successful crewed test launch.

A white rocket leaves a trail of smoke on the launch pad as it ascends into a blue sky dotted with white clouds.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch to the International Space Station in 2022 with its Crew Dragon capsule. (SpaceX)

Saturday’s cleanup follows a previous attempt on May 6, which was called off due to an oxygen leak from ULA’s Atlas V rocket.

However, problems with the spacecraft were discovered when the rocket was returned to ULA’s Vertical Integration Facility, including a helium leak, which was not fixed before Saturday’s launch.

NASA and Boeing said there was. No danger For astronauts launching with such a small leak.

Another problem was how the Starliner would return to Earth and a solution was found.

If the launch goes on schedule, Williams and Wilmore will dock with the ISS on June 6 at 12:15 pm ET.

And once again, it will be Canadian astronaut Joshua Kotrick who will talk to the pair from NASA’s Capcom, or capsule communicator, that will carry them up to and during their launch. He is scheduled to fly the Starliner’s first operational flight (not a test, as it stands) in 2025.

look More on Canada’s Joshua Kotrick’s planned flight in 2025:


Canadian astronauts are on their way to the International Space Station.

Astronaut Joshua Kittrick will be the next Canadian to the International Space Station, flying there for a six-month mission starting in 2025. Meanwhile, Jenny Gibbons was designated as Jeremy Hanson’s backup for the Artemis II mission to lunar orbit.

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