All eyes on weather as Boeing looks to Starliner launch on Tuesday

Weather considerations proceed as NASA and Boeing look to launch the Starliner capsule on a significant uncrewed take a look at flight to the International Space Station on Tuesday (Aug. 3).

Launch is focusing on 1:20 p.m. EDT (1720 GMT), and present weather patterns are favoring afternoon showers and thunderstorms alongside the japanese coast of Florida, in accordance to the 45th Weather Squadron, which displays circumstances for launches from the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Space Force Base. There’s a 40% likelihood the weather will allow Tuesday’s launch, in accordance to the workplace’s present forecast, which means that Starliner could have the opportunity to blast off the pad earlier than troubling weather rolls in.

“The greatest coverage of convection is expected to hold off until after the launch window,” squadron officers wrote in a statement revealed Saturday (July 31). “Still, a weather-related violation is possible due to isolated showers and thunderstorms in the area, particularly towards the end of the count.”

Related: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2: Live updates
In images: Boeing’s Starliner Orbital Test Flight 2 mission to the International Space Station

In specific, the workplace is monitoring cumulus cloud formation, floor electrical fields and the potential threat of lighting.

The similar tough weather circumstances which are worrying launch personnel additionally prompted the mission staff to roll Starliner and its Atlas V rocket back inside from the launch pad, the place it had arrived on Thursday (July 29) in preparation for a Friday (July 30) launch. Although weather circumstances had been additionally a priority for that launch date, the mission was postponed after the International Space Station spent about 45 minutes on Thursday out of its correct orientation when a software glitch triggered thrusters on a newly arrived Russian science module to hearth.

If Starliner cannot launch on Tuesday, the following alternative shall be Wednesday (Aug. 4). Whenever the capsule does blast off, the launch will start a day-long trek to the International Space Station, the place it’ll spend lower than a week earlier than returning to Earth to land within the western United States.

The launch, known as Orbital Flight Test-2 or OFT-2, marks an important milestone for Boeing’s Starliner system, which first tried an uncrewed take a look at flight to the space station in December 2019. However, a collection of glitches meant the capsule was unable to attain the orbiting laboratory and returned to Earth with out undertaking its major mission: proving that the system is prepared to carry astronauts.

Nineteen months later, after addressing 80 suggestions produced by NASA and Boeing investigations into the failed flight, Starliner is prepared to give flight one other strive. A profitable mission would pave the way for 3 NASA astronauts to launch later this year on a crewed flight take a look at, which might in flip permit Boeing to start usually ferrying astronauts to orbit, as its competitor SpaceX has already begun doing with the Crew Dragon capsule.

Email Meghan Bartels at [email protected] or observe her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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