NASA, Mission Partners Hold Teleconference Ahead of Starliner Launch

NASA, Mission Partners Hold Teleconference Ahead of Starliner Launch

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft aboard is seen on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 ON Sunday, May 5, 2024 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) will discuss updates regarding ongoing work for the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test, which will send NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Space Station on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. 

At 11 a.m. EDT, NASA will host a media teleconference with the following participants: 

  • Jim Free, NASA associate administrator 
  • Ken Bowersox, associate administrator, NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program 
  • Dana Weigel, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program 
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program 
  • Gary Wentz, vice president, Government and Commercial Programs, ULA 

Audio of the teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website.  

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test scrubbed on Monday, May 6, when ULA discovered a faulty pressure regulation valve on the liquid oxygen tank of the Atlas V rocket’s Centaur upper stage. Tests have been conducted and the valve has been replaced. 

Work continues to assess Starliner performance and redundancy following the discovery of a small helium leak in the spacecraft’s service module. As part of this work, and unrelated to the current leak which remains stable, teams are in the process of completing a follow-on propulsion system assessment to understand potential helium system impacts on some Starliner return scenarios. 

Liftoff is scheduled for no earlier than 12:25 p.m. Saturday, June 1, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. 

Wilmore and Williams remain in preflight quarantine at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. While there, they have participated in various exercises using Starliner simulators to prepare for flight. The duo will be the first to launch aboard Boeing’s Starliner on an Atlas V rocket, spending about a week at the orbiting laboratory before making a parachute and airbag-assisted landing in the southwestern United States. 

After successful completion of the mission, NASA will begin the final process of certifying Starliner and its systems for crewed rotation missions to the space station. 

Learn more about NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test by following the mission blog, the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook. 

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Elyna Niles-Carnes

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