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Business News/ Science / News/  NASA: Boeing to launch crewed Starliner mission with Butch Wilmore, Sunita Williams. See date, time, where to watch LIVE
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NASA: Boeing to launch crewed Starliner mission with Butch Wilmore, Sunita Williams. See date, time, where to watch LIVE

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is ready for its first crewed flight to the ISS after a failed uncrewed attempt in 2019. Astronauts Sunita Williams and Butch Wilmore will lift off on an Atlas V rocket from Kennedy Space Center for a historic mission.

A Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is rolled out from Boeing's Commercial Cargo and Processing Facility in the pre-dawn hours past the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on April 16, 2024. Premium
A Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is rolled out from Boeing's Commercial Cargo and Processing Facility in the pre-dawn hours past the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on April 16, 2024.

After years of delays and stumbles, Boeing is finally poised to launch astronauts to the International Space Station for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Starliner will blast off on United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral in Florida

It will be the first time astronauts ride an Atlas since NASA's Project Mercury, starting with John Glenn when he became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. Sixty-two years later, this will be the 100th launch of the Atlas V, which is used to hoist satellites as well as spacecraft. Notably, 62 years ago, on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard had became the first American to go to space.

Butch Wilmore and Sunita Williams are scheduled to lift off aboard Boeing’s Starliner crew where they will stay for about a week. 

Speaking of the two astronauts, Williams, aged 58, is a former Naval test pilot who has flown over 30 different aircraft. She has accumulated 322 days in space over two missions since her initial flight in 2007. Wilmore, aged 61, a retired Navy captain, has spent 178 days in space since his first of two space missions in 2009.

The mission is the first crewed flight for the Starliner spacecraft. The mission will test the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system, including launch, docking, and return to Earth in the western United States. "Following a successful crewed flight test, NASA will begin the final process of certifying Starliner and systems for crewed missions to the space station," the US space agency had said.

In 2019, an attempt to send an uncrewed Starliner to the ISS for a week ended in failure. The mission had to be cut short, with the spacecraft returning to Earth several days earlier than planned, due to numerous software and engineering issues.

Time of the launch and where to watch LIVE

Boeing and NASA are targetting the launch at 10:34 p.m. EDT on May 6 which is 4 am IST on May 7 for a week long visit to the ISS. You can watch the launch LIVE on NASA's YouTube channel.

(With inputs from Reuters, Associated Press)

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Published: 06 May 2024, 11:05 AM IST
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