Boeing Orbital Flight Test 2

Summary

Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2
Starliner OFT-2 lift.jpg
Spacecraft 2 in processing ahead of OFT-2
NamesBoe-OFT 2
Mission typeTest flight
Operator
Mission duration7 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftStarliner Spacecraft 2
ManufacturerBoeing
Start of mission
Launch date29 March 2021 (planned) [1]
RocketAtlas V N22 (AV-082)
Launch siteCape Canaveral, SLC-41
ContractorUnited Launch Alliance
End of mission
Landing date5 April 2021 (planned)
Landing siteWhite Sands Missile Range
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Inclination51.66°
Docking with ISS
Docking portHarmony forward or zenith
Time docked4 days (planned)
Orbital Flight Test-2 mission patch.jpg
Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 mission patch  

The Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 (also known formerly as Boe-OFT 2) is a planned repeat of Boeing's first Orbital Flight Test that was affected by software problems. The uncrewed mission will test the Boeing Starliner spacecraft as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, scheduled for launch on 29 March 2021.[1] The Starliner OFT-2 mission is planned to last seven days, during which the Starliner spacecraft will demonstrate rendezvous and docking capabilities with the International Space Station (ISS), followed by undocking and landing in the western United States.

This is the first planned docking of Starliner after the December 2019 flight failed to rendezvous with the station due to an anomaly with the spacecraft's mission elapsed time (MET) clock. On 6 April 2020, Boeing announced that they would redo the Orbital Flight Test to prove and meet all of the test objectives. A four-month investigation of the first Orbital Flight Test resulted in Boeing proposing another uncrewed flight test of the spacecraft's systems. NASA accepted the proposal from Boeing to do another uncrewed test flight at no cost to American taxpayers, at an estimated out-of-pocket cost of US$410 million. The mission is planned to use the hardware, Starliner, and Atlas V originally planned for use on the crewed flight test.

Payload

The capsule will carry approximately 270 kg (600 lb) of supplies and test equipment to simulate future missions with astronauts and their cargo on board.

Mission

The second Atlas V N22, designated AV-082, will launch the Starliner spacecraft on its second uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station. The capsule is intended to dock with the space station, then return to Earth to land in the Western United States after an orbital shakedown cruise ahead of Boeing Crewed Flight Test.[2]

Starliner OFT-2 is the second flight of an Atlas V without a payload fairing and with a dual-engine Centaur upper stage. The dual-engine Centaur uses two RL10s and is required for Starliner flights in order to provide a launch trajectory that allows a safe abort at any point in the mission.[3]

Boeing modified the design of the Starliner docking system after the OFT-1 flight. A hinged re-entry cover for additional protection during the capsule's fiery descent through the atmosphere was added, like in the SpaceX design. This will be tested on the OFT-2 mission.[4]

On 9 December 2020, NASA and Boeing announced the date 29 March 2021, as the targeted launch date for the OFT-2 mission.[1]

On 16 December 2020, Boeing officials released the official mission patch for the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission.[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "NASA and Boeing Target New Launch Date for Next Starliner Flight Test". Boeing. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  2. ^ Burghardt, Thomas (7 July 2020). "NASA and Boeing Complete Starliner Orbital Flight Test Investigation". nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  3. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (21 November 2019). "Starliner arrives at launch pad in major pre-flight milestone". nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  4. ^ Clark, Stephen (25 August 2020). "Boeing plans second Starliner test flight in December 2020 or January 2021". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 26 August 2020.

External links

  • Official Webpage of the CST-100 Starliner
  • Launch Schedule by Spaceflight Now
  • NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV