NASA and aerospace giant Boeing will make history on Friday, December 20, when Boeing launches its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station for the first time. Express.co.uk reveals how to watch the Boeing Starliner mission live online with NASA TV.
Boeing and SpaceX are both developing spacecraft as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, an initiative to send humans to the ISS on private US spacecraft.
Boeing is developing the CST-100 Starliner, designed to ferry seven passengers and travel to space on top of an Atlas V rocket manufactured by the United Launch Alliance.
The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX is updating its Dragon cargo capsule to carry seven crew and it will fly on top of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket.
Before the vehicles are considered operational, NASA wants them to conduct both un-crewed and crewed flight tests of the capsules to see if they’re ready for regular trips to the station.
This Friday, December 20, an uncrewed Starliner spacecraft will launch on an Atlas V rocket and begin making its way to the space station.
The cutting-edge spacecraft is then scheduled to spend one week in space before returning to Earth with a soft landing at New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range.
You can watch the entire Orbital Flight Test (OFT) mission — including the launch, docking and landing — here, courtesy of NASA TV.
The launch is set to take place at 11.36am GMT (6.36am EST), weather permitting.
Friday, December 20:
The Atlas V rocket carrying the uncrewed Boeing Starliner spacecraft is scheduled to lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 11.36am GMT (6.36am EST).
NASA will begin broadcasting live coverage of the launch at 10.00am GMT (5am EST).
After the launch, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will give his remarks at a news conference planned to begin at 2pm GMT (9am EST).
However, the NASA TV schedule notes this start time is subject to change.
Saturday, December 21:
Boeing’s Starliner will arrive at the International Space Station on Saturday, December 21 and NASA will stream live views of the rendezvous and docking beginning at 10.00am GMT (5am EST).
Starliner will autonomously dock with the ISS – without the help of astronauts steering the Canadarm2 robotic arm, which is usually the case for incoming cargo vehicles.
The docking is pencilled in for around1.08pm GMT (8.08am ET).
NASA will continue to stream live coverage until the ISS astronauts open the hatch at about 3.45pm GMT (10.45am EST), when the crew onboard the station will offer remarks on the historic arrival.
Friday, December 27:
After spending a week docked with the laboratory orbiting 250 miles (400km) over Earth, Starliner will begin its journey home on December 27.
Astronauts will close the hatch at about 1.50pm GMT (8.50am EST) and live coverage of the hatch closing will begin on NASA TV at 1.30pm (8.30am EST).
NASA’s live coverage of the undocking will begin at 4.45am GMT (December 28) (11.45pm EST on December 27) and Starliner will undock on Dec. 28 at 5.44pm GMT (12.44am EST).