If, at first, nothing goes as planned, trying for the second time might be the best option. That is what Boeing is doing as it attempts for the second time to launch its Starliner spacecraft and dock to the International Space Station.

While NASA is preparing for its third crewed mission to the ISS, Boeing is still on its second part of "Launch America", with the first one was just over a year ago. Boeing aims to be the second "space taxi" that will carry NASA astronauts to the space station from American soil, according to an article in Forbes.

The upcoming Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) of Boeing is a chance for the company to test the safety and efficacy of its spacecraft before carrying a crew to space, especially after a software glitch happened last time that led to the premature end of the original test flight of CST-100 Starliner.

 Boeing's Starliner Set to Launch this Week: Here's How to Catch its Orbital Test Flight
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft onboard is seen as it is rollout out of the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 ahead of the Orbital Flight Test mission, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed Orbital Flight Test will be Starliner’s maiden mission to the International Space Station for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The mission, currently targeted for a 6:26 a.m. EST launch on Dec. 20, will serve as an end-to-end test of the system's capabilities.

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner

Boeing wrote on its website that the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft is being developed in partnership with the Commercial Crew Program of NASA to serve as a space taxi for future space missions.

The spacecraft can carry seven passengers and a mix of crew and cargo to low-Earth orbit missions or the ISS. It is set to ferry four passengers and scientific research for NASA service missions to the ISS. Additionally, the CST-100 Starliner can be reused ten times with a six-month turnaround time and also supports WiFi connection for crew interfaces.

Overall, it is just like SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft in the sense that it is designed for orbital spaceflight and will be launched via a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida and will return to Earth by parachute.

ALSO READ: NASA Boeing Starliner Mission to ISS Delayed Again, SpaceX Crew 2 Flight on Time


When Will Be Boeing's Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) Mission?

According to ULA's website, the launch for the Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) will be on Friday, July 30, at 2:53 pm from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. the first weather forecast for that day said there is a 40% chance of acceptable conditions, but scattered thunderstorms might become a problem.

 ULA said that the OFT-2 mission will be the second uncrewed flight for Boeing's Starliner spacecraft and will demonstrate its human transportation capabilities, which is a major step before the company carries NASA astronauts to the ISS US soil like SpaceX to end its reliance on Russian spacecraft.

"OFT-2 will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing's crew transportation system to carry astronauts to and from the space station," NASA said after a successful review of the spacecraft's flight readiness.

How to Watch Boeing's CST-100 Starliner Launch?

The live coverage and countdown commentary for Boeing's CST-100 Starliner launch will air at 2 pm EDT on Friday on NASA Television and their website, according to Forbes. Also, live streaming of the launch will be available on Facebook, Daily Motion, LinkedIn, Theta.TV, NASA's App, Twitter, and YouTube.

There will also be a post-launch report on NASA TV at 4 pm. Then on Saturday, July 31, at 3:06 pm, the rendezvous and docking of Starliner to the ISS will be shown. By Sunday, at 9:35 am, the hatch opening will be shown, followed by remarks at 10:35 am.

RELATED ARTICLE: NASA Gives Boeing Starliner A Go Signal For July 30 Test Launch

Check out more news and information on Boeing in Science Times.