Boeing has officially announced that it will conduct its second orbital test of its Starliner spacecraft in August. The new date of this experiment will finally be announced after successive delays in the project.
The Boeing Starliner will go to the International Space Station on the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission, or OFT-2 for short, after leaving Earth to prepare for the transfer of astronauts to and from the space station. The company in its press release Says“The Starliner team has done all the work related to the OFT-2 mission, except for things like loading cargo and fuel, which should be done near launch time.”
The first Starliner test flight took place in December 2019, but was unsuccessful because the Boeing spacecraft could not enter its proper orbit to reach the International Space Station. After the first mission, the company had to make many modifications to its spacecraft, and this issue postponed the second test mission of Starliner several times.
The nearest window was for the second test this month, but Boeing dropped the test and decided to replace the Starliner aviation electronics, which had been damaged by a power fluctuation in one of the tests. The company must comply with the International Space Station’s schedule to conduct its test. The station is currently going through a busy period with the movement of various spacecraft, and on the other hand, Boeing must coordinate with the United Launch Alliance to send the Starliner into orbit with the Atlas V rocket.
The company says it will be ready for the mission by May (May or June) and is assessing the conditions for a faster test, but now August seems a more likely option. The Starliner team is also preparing for the first manned flight, but the date of that mission will depend on the success of the second Starliner test.