Boeing hopes that the second attempt for its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will be the charm. Starliner is designed to transport astronauts from the United States to NASA’s International Space Station, but is plagued by technical problems. On Thursday, Boeing will try to reach the ISS again by overcoming its unmanned orbital flight test or OFT.

NASA TV will broadcast live the launch at 15:00 PT on May 19. Departure is scheduled for 15:54 PT. from Tuesday the weather was 70% favorable for the start.

Starliner will take an elevator to space with a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket taking off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force station in Florida. The capsule is loaded with 800 pounds (360 kilograms) and should reach the ISS about 24 hours later. There will be no people on board, but a sensor-equipped anthropomorphic test astronaut named Rosie Rocket will continue to travel.

“OFT-2 will test Starliner’s capabilities from end to end from launch to jump, re-entry into the atmosphere and landing in the desert in the western United States,” NASA said in a statement Monday. “OFT-2 will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s transport system for transporting astronauts to and from the space station.

The Starliner will hang out with the ISS for up to 10 days before returning for a dramatic ground landing. If this time the spacecraft passes the test, NASA will consider sending a test flight with a crew complete with astronauts.

IN the first OFT was held at the end of 2019 and it didn’t go according to plan. While Starliner started and landed safely, it failed to reach the ISS due to a software problem. Boeing planned to try to launch again in 2021, but continued to have technical difficulties pushed the test flight in 2022.

Boeing and SpaceX are part of NASA’s commercial crew program, which aims to return astronaut launches to US soil after years of dependence on a Russian spacecraft. SpaceX is deep in crew rotation missions after it just sent Crew-4 to the ISS in late April. Boeing has something to catch up, and OFT-2 is a critical part of Starliner’s focus on actual astronaut missions.

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