Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to depart ISS for May 26 landing; here’s how to watch live

Boeing’s Starliner is ready to return home after spending five days docked at the International Space Station (ISS). Launched under the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission, the spacecraft’s leak checks are complete and NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines have closed the hatch. Boeing, in its mission statement, revealed that the spacecraft is in good configuration to undock from the space station and will leave with about 272 kilograms of cargo on May 26.

“It’s been an honor to take part in this and be a tiny cog in the wheel that is the Commercial Crew Program and the amazing teams, the operational teams, the design teams, that put this vehicle together. It was really cool to be on this end of it and watch the culmination of those efforts and all of those activities”, Hines said, as per Boeing’s statement. Notably, this was the first time Starliner docked at the ISS in what was its second attempt, the first being in 2019.

How to watch the undocking and landing?

The spacecraft will undock from the space station at 2:36 pm ET on May 25 [12:06 am (IST), May 26] and NASA will begin the live coverage at 11 pm (IST). After a four-hour-long journey, the spacecraft will make its landing at the US Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico at 4:19 am. The coverage will be broadcasted on the NASA app, NASA TV, the agency’s official website and YouTube channel as well.

According to Boeing, mission teams will conduct a weather briefing on the landing zone one hour before the Starliner undocks for its departure. The team will also conduct a “go” or “no go” poll to proceed with the undocking operations.

OFT-2 mission nears completion

The OFT-2 mission, which is a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, is just a few steps away from completion. Both Boeing and NASA came together to test the end-to-end capabilities of Starliner from launch to docking, atmospheric re-entry, and a desert landing. If everything goes according to the plan, Boeing will win a license from NASA to transport cargo and astronauts to and from the space station.

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