When Should You Watch the Boeing Starliner Launch After Nauka Causes a ‘Spacecraft Emergency’ on the International Space Station?
Following an incident involving a freshly docked Russian module, NASA and Boeing agreed on Thursday to postpone a CST-100 Starliner launch to the International Space Station (ISS) that was scheduled for Friday.
The Starliner, a reusable capsule meant to transfer personnel to the International Space Station, will now launch next week. The earliest launch window, according to NASA, is 1:20 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 3, with a backup window planned for August 4.
NASA TV was set to broadcast the launch on Friday. While the space agency has yet to announce the TV channel’s viewing schedule for next week, the delayed launch is anticipated to be aired live on the site.
The Starliner was supposed to fly from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, but the launch was canceled due to a problem with a Russian space module that had recently docked with the International Space Station.
Only a few hours before the Starliner’s scheduled liftoff, the Russian multipurpose laboratory module Nauka docked with the space station, carrying seven crew members.
But then, according to Reuters, a few of its jet thrusters started firing mistakenly, shifting the ISS out of its regular flight position. Joel Montalbano, NASA’s space station program manager, told reporters in a news conference.
The team on the ground was able to guide the ISS back into its usual orientation using the control thrusters on another module after just over 45 minutes of “attitudinal control.”
Although ground staff momentarily lost contact with the space station twice, Montalbano said there was “no immediate threat at any point” to the crew, which includes two Russian cosmonauts, three NASA astronauts, a Japanese astronaut, and a French astronaut.
There are no signs of damage.
Furthermore, despite NASA officials declaring the incident a “spacecraft emergency,” there was no early sign of any damage to the ISS, according to Reuters. According to NASA, the cause of Nauka’s thruster failure is yet unknown.
The delay will allow the ISS team to undertake checks on the Nauka module to ensure that the station is ready for the arrival of the Starliner, according to the space agency.
“It was something we wanted to do. This is a condensed version of the information.