After a successful launch at 6:36 a.m. EST Friday on the ULA Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is an unplanned, but stable orbit. The team is assessing what test objectives can be achieved before a safe return of the spacecraft to land in White Sands, New Mexico. NASA and Boeing officials held a post-launch news conference Friday morning.
We are targeting a news conference for 9:30 a.m. EST to discuss the status of Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test. Visit www.nasa.gov/live for the latest info and news conference schedule.
Despite launching successfully at 6:36 a.m. EST Friday on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is not in its planned orbit. The spacecraft currently is in a stable configuration while flight controllers are troubleshooting.
Starliner has an off-nominal insertion, but Boeing has spacecraft control. The guidance and control team is assessing their next maneuver.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner has separated from the Atlas V Centaur and is flying on its own, embarking on its inaugural flight to the International Space Station. The Atlas Centaur will fall back to Earth and impact the ocean near Australia. After a series of orbital adjustments, Starliner will be on course for rendezvous and docking with the space station at 5 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21.
The Atlas V Centaur’s burn is complete and the next milestone will be the separation of the Starliner spacecraft from Centaur, coming up in about three minutes.
Main engine cutoff of the Atlas V rocket booster has occurred.
Booster ignition and liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rocket is on its way, carrying Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on its Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station. About one minute after launch, the Atlas V rocket will achieve Mach 1. The Atlas V solid rocket boosters will jettison nearly two-and-a-half minutes into the flight.
About two-and-a-half minutes into flight, a series of key events will begin to occur over the next few minutes. The Atlas V solid rocket boosters will fall away shortly after launch. The Atlas first-stage booster engine will cut off, followed by separation from the dual-engine Centaur second stage. The Centaur first main engine will start, following by aeroskirt jettison. A few minutes later the Centaur engine will cut off.
Launch conductors have completed their polls of the launch teams. The T-4 minute built-in hold has been released and the countdown has resumed. The Starliner spacecraft has been configured for terminal count. Three seconds before launch, the Atlas V booster’s RD-180 engine will ignite.
The latest weather update remains favorable for launch. Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron predict a 90% chance of favorable weather for launch this morning. Primary concerns are a chance of violation due to ground winds, but those winds currently are well within limits.