NASA has announced it will launch Boeing´s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) to the International Space Station, as part of NASA´s Commercial Crew Program, the agency said.
The launch of Boeing´s Starliner spacecraft on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is targeted for Dec. 17 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.
The flight test will provide valuable data on the end-to-end performance of the Atlas V rocket, Starliner spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, and landing operations. The data will be used as part of NASA´s process of certifying Boeing´s crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the space station.
NASA´s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry through a public-private partnership to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil for the first time since 2011. The goal of the program is safe, reliable and cost-effective human space transportation to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit, which could allow for additional research time and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity´s testbed for exploration.