Starliner launch set for today; will depend on the weather

If the launch does not happen today, it will be scheduled for the following day.

Starliner launch set for today; will depend on the weather

The launch of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) is set by NASA at 1:20 pm ET on the 3rd of August, Tuesday. But the launch will depend on the weather conditions as the launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida is experiencing some unfavourable weather. The launch will probably be delayed. The most recent which provides NASA details about the weather condition says that there is only a 60% chance of the test flight taking place as scheduled.

The weather forecast by the 45th Weather Squadron signalled that there will be chances of rain and thunderstorm over the Space Coast. They also added that there are chances that it will be held off until the launch. If the launch does not take place today, then it will be changed to tomorrow.

NASA has certain launch criteria for a ULA Atlas V rocket in which it clearly states that the launch cannot happen “through or within five to ten miles of cumulus clouds with tops that extend into freezing temperatures unless specified conditions and distances can be met” and also it states that “(d)o not launch within 10 nautical miles of the edge of a thunderstorm that is producing lightning for 30 minutes after the last.”

After the launch, Starliner will stay at the ISS for five days and then return and have a parachute-assisted landing in the New Mexico desert. This mission is the second of Boeing’s ISS mission after the failure of a mission in December 2019 when various software issues prevented the spacecraft from entering the right orbit. 

If the launch becomes a success, then NASA will have a new option for the transport of astronauts and goods between Earth and the ISS. Now it has SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft for the same.