When you reside alongside the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, you have bought a good shot at seeing such a rocket launch early tomorrow morning (Dec. 20), climate allowing. A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying Boeing’s first Starliner crew capsule is scheduled to raise off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 6:36 a.m. EST (1136 GMT). You may watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA.
The Atlas V will head northeast from Cape Canaveral, probably offering glimpses of the rocket to coastal of us all the best way up via New England, in response to a visibility map tweeted out by ULA. And 6:36 a.m. EST is a really good time to view a launch presently of year, stated Will Ulrich, Launch Weather Officer with the 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral.
That launch will kick off Orbital Flight Test (OFT), Starliner’s first go to the International Space Station (ISS). The eight-day, uncrewed OFT is a vital milestone on the trail to crewed flight for Starliner, which Boeing has been growing to ferry NASA astronauts to and from the orbiting lab.
If all goes nicely with OFT, Boeing will begin getting ready for a crewed check flight to the ISS. Operational, contracted missions would then observe.
Like Boeing, SpaceX holds an industrial crew that takes care of NASA, which the California-based mostly firm will fulfill utilizing its Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket. Crew Dragon flew its model of OFT this previous March, acing a six-day uncrewed journey to the ISS, generally known as Demo-1.
SpaceX is now prepping for an in-flight abort (IFA) check in January, which is able to showcase Crew Dragon’s capability to get out of hurt’s means within the occasion of a launch emergency. A profitable IFA would clear the best way for Demo-2, SpaceX’s crewed demonstration flight to the ISS.