NASA´s Commercial Crew Program has announced the Boeing CST-100 Starliner will be transported to its launch site for integration on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, the administration said.
The spacecraft will be moved ahead of the company´s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station.
Activities will take place at NASA´s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The fueled Starliner will be moved from Boeing´s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at Kennedy to ULA´s Space Launch Complex 41 Vertical Integration Facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Later the same day, the spacecraft will be stacked on top an Atlas V rocket for final processing ahead of the launch.
Boeing´s uncrewed flight test will provide valuable data on the end-to-end performance of the rocket, spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking and landing operations. The data will be used toward certification of 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 public-private partnerships 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, which could allow for additional research time aboard the station and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity´s testbed for exploration.