Boeing OFT-2 Launch Thread
Hello and welcome to the Boeing OFT-2 launch thread! A sequel to my Artemis I launch thread, I mentioned I would work on a thread for this mission, and I have finally published it. (Before you ask, no, I don’t plan on doing one of these for every space launch, really only Artemis and Starliner). In this thread you will see a compilation of mission milestones and updates for OFT-2, the second mission of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner Space Capsule, which is a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, alongside SpaceX’s Dragon2 Space Capsule. This will be an uncrewed test flight to ensure the Hardware and Software are up to standards before a crewed flight. This mission is relatively identical to the December 2019 launch of OFT-1, a partial failure demo flight of Starliner, due to a Software error in the Spacecraft’s flight computers, causing an orbital trajectory misguidance.
Current Mission Timeline
As it currently stands, the mission timeline will look something like what is presented below. Upon launching from launch pad SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, Starliner will be put into Low Earth Orbit as it approaches the International Space Station. Once there, it will dock at the forward docking part of the Harmony module, from which it will then spend several days attached to the station. Finally, the Space Capsule will undock from the International Space Station and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere, touching down at White Sands Missle Range in New Mexico.
Equipment List and Information
For OFT-2, there will be two key parts of the mission, these are the CST-100 Starliner Space Capsule, and it’s launch vehicle which it will sit atop, the Atlas V.
Making its second launch, CST-100 Starliner will be the main component of the mission. After debuting on OFT-1 in December 2019, several changes have been made to improve the design of the space capsule, mostly focusing on its software. The Specific Starliner being used for this mission is Spacecraft 2, and this will be its debut launch. Starliner is built by Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
(United Launch Alliance)
Serving as the launch vehicle for Starliner, the Atlas V will be the rocket that gets Starliner off the ground in Florida to several hundred miles in the sky in Low Earth Orbit. Powered by 1 RD-180 in the Common Core Booster, the rocket will produce over 850,000 pounds of thrust for the launch and powering the initial flight of the spacecraft. Being used for this launch specifically is an Atlas V N22 variant, a human-rated variant designed specifically for Starliner missions. The specific rocket will be AV-082, making its first launch. The Atlas V is built by United Launch Alliance.
Significant Mission Events
Between now and the launch date of May 19th, several events will occur relating to the mission including but not limited to the full build of AV-082, the Atlas V launch vehicle, will be completed, the stacking of Spacecraft 2 with AV-082 at the Vertical Integration Facility, and the rollout of the fully stacked Atlas V / Starliner to the launch pad.
OFT-2 is scheduled to lift off from launch pad SLC-41 in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 19th, 2022 at 22:54:47 UTC