Boeing's Starliner capsule stacked atop Atlas V rocket ahead of crucial May 19 launch [space news]

Boeing's Starliner capsule stacked atop Atlas V rocket ahead of crucial May 19 launch [space news]

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Boeing's CST-100 #Starliner capsule has joined up with its rocket ride.
Technicians stacked Starliner atop its United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket on May 4 at ULA's Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

#ULA and #Boeing are gearing up for Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2), a crucial uncrewed test mission to the International Space Station (ISS) that's scheduled to launch on May 19. If all goes well with OFT-2, Starliner will likely be cleared to carry #NASA astronauts to and from the orbiting lab in the near future.

Starliner rolled to the Vertical Integration Facility VIF, where it was carefully raise onto the #AtlasV rocket.

As its name suggests, OFT-2 will be Boeing's second try at an uncrewed test mission to the ISS. The first, which lifted off in December 2019, was cut short after Starliner suffered several software glitches and was unable to meet up with the orbiting lab.

#OFT2, which will use a different Starliner vehicle than the original OFT, has encountered some issues of its own. The mission was originally supposed to launch last August, but preflight checks revealed stuck valves in the capsule's service module.
After a lengthy investigation, Boeing and NASA teams identified the cause and came up with mitigation measures. And Starliner is now getting ready for liftoff once again.

Boeing holds a contract with NASA's Commercial Crew Program and aims to begin flying astronauts with Starliner toward the end of 2022 if OFT-2 goes well.

Materials: https://www.space.com/boeing-starliner-stacked-atlas-v-rocket-photos