Coverage Set for NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 Return to Earth

The uncrewed Boeing CST-100 Starliner approaches the forward port of the International Space Station ahead of docking at 8:28 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 20 for the first time during NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2.
Credits: NASA

NASA will provide live coverage of the upcoming return activities for the agencys Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2). As part of the uncrewed flight test, Boeings CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will depart from the International Space Station for a landing in the western United States.

The spacecraft is scheduled to autonomously undock from the space station to begin the journey home at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25. NASA and Boeing are targeting 6:49 p.m. for the landing and conclusion of OFT-2, wrapping up a six-day mission testing the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system.

The return and related activities will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agencys website.

In advance of Starliners return, commercial crew astronauts at the space station will speak with NASA leadership and make farewell remarks prior to closing the hatch to the uncrewed spacecraft.

Teams are targeting White Sands Space Harbor at the U.S. Armys White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as the primary landing site, with a backup White Sands opportunity Friday, May 27. The spacecraft will return with more than 600 pounds of cargo, including Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System reusable tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members. The tanks will be refilled on Earth and sent back to station on a future flight.

NASAs Boeing OFT-2 return coverage on NASA TV is as follows and all times are subject to change based on mission operations (all times are Eastern):

Tuesday, May 24

12:20 p.m. NASA Administrator event on Starliners flight test with commercial crew astronauts at station

12:55 p.m. Starliner farewell ceremony

1:30 p.m. Hatch closure TV coverage begins for 1:55 p.m. hatch closing

Wednesday, May 25

2 p.m. TV coverage begins for the 2:36 p.m. undocking. NASA will break coverage after the spacecraft exits joint operations with the space station.

5:45 p.m. Coverage begins for 6:05 p.m. deorbit burn and 6:49 p.m. landing in the western United States.

9 p.m. Return to Earth news conference on NASA TV from NASAs Johnson Space Center in Houston:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASAs Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASAs International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

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