Boe CFT
NamesBoeing Starliner Crew Flight Test
Mission typeISS crew transport test
OperatorBoeing
Mission duration~7 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftStarliner Calypso
Spacecraft typeStarliner
ManufacturerBoeing
Crew
Crew size2
Members
Start of mission
Launch dateTo be determined
RocketAtlas V N22
Launch siteCape Canaveral, SLC-41
ContractorUnited Launch Alliance
End of mission
Landing dateTo be determined
Landing siteWhite Sands Missile Range
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Inclination51.66°
Docking with International Space Station
Docking portHarmony Forward or Zenith
Docking dateTo be determined
Undocking dateTo be determined
Time docked6 days (planned)

(L-R) Williams and Wilmore 

Boeing Crew Flight Test (Boe CFT) will be the first crewed mission of the Boeing Starliner and the third orbital flight test of the Starliner overall after the two uncrewed flight tests, OFT-1 and OFT-2 in 2019 and 2022.

The first crewed test flight test was initially planned to occur in 2017.[1] Various delays had pushed the launch of the CFT mission to no earlier than 21 July 2023,[2] but Boeing announced in June 2023 that it would delay indefinitely due to issues with the parachute system and wiring harnesses.[3] The mission entails flying a crew of two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station for a one-week test flight.

Capsule

CFT will be the second mission for the Starliner Calypso capsule, which was first used on the first OFT mission. NASA announced that Boeing prepared to reassemble the vehicle for flight, following multiple checkouts, for the CFT mission in August 2020, and that new parachutes and airbags would be fitted. The CFT capsule's docking system was modified to accommodate the new re-entry cover that debuted on the OFT-2 test flight.[4]

Crew

Nicole Aunapu Mann was initially assigned to this mission, which would have made her the first woman to fly on the maiden crewed flight of an orbital spacecraft, but was subsequently reassigned to the SpaceX Crew-5 mission as the first female commander of a NASA Commercial Crew Program launch.[5] Due to medical reasons, Eric Boe, who was originally assigned to the mission in August 2018 as pilot was replaced by Michael Fincke on 22 January 2019. Boe will replace Fincke as the assistant to the chief for commercial crew in the astronaut office at NASA's Johnson Space Center.[6] Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson was originally assigned to the flight as commander, but he was replaced by NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore on 7 October 2020. Ferguson cited family reasons for the replacement.[7] Matthew Dominick replaced him on the backup crew.[8]

On 18 April 2022, NASA said that it had not finalized which of the cadre of Starliner astronauts, including Barry Wilmore, Michael Fincke, and Sunita Williams, will fly on this mission or the first operational Starliner mission.[9] On 16 June 2022, NASA confirmed that this CFT mission will be a two-person flight test, consisting of Wilmore and Williams; Fincke is to train as the backup spacecraft test pilot and remains eligible for assignment to a future mission.[10] Williams is expected to become the first woman to fly on the maiden crewed flight of an orbital spacecraft type (Judith Resnik was the first female crew member on the maiden flight of an orbital spacecraft, the Space Shuttle Discovery, followed by Kathryn Thornton on Endeavour, Shannon Walker on Crew Dragon Resilience, Kayla Barron on Endurance, and Samantha Cristoforetti and Jessica Watkins on Freedom).

Prime crew
Position Crew member
Spacecraft Commander United States Barry Eugene Wilmore, NASA
Third spaceflight
Pilot United States Sunita Williams, NASA
Third spaceflight
Backup crew
Position Crew member
Spacecraft Commander United States Michael Fincke, NASA

Mission

The third Atlas V N22 launch vehicle variant will launch Starliner with a crew of two. The vehicle will dock with the International Space Station, and return to Earth under parachutes for a ground-landing in the United States. Boeing teams continue refurbishing the crew module from the OFT-1 mission for the Crew Flight Test. This will be the first launch of a crewed spacecraft by an Atlas V launch vehicle. Based upon current space station resources and scheduling needs, a short duration mission with two astronaut test pilots is sufficient to meet all NASA and Boeing test objectives for CFT, which include demonstrating Starliner’s ability to safely fly operational crewed missions to and from the space station. To protect against unforeseen events with crew transportation to the station, NASA may extend the CFT docked duration up to six months and add an additional astronaut later, if needed.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Boeing and SpaceX Selected to Build America's New Crew Space Transportation System". NASA. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  2. ^ Foust, Jeff (29 March 2023). "Starliner crewed test flight delayed to July". SpaceNews. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  3. ^ Berger, Eric (1 June 2023). "Boeing finds two serious problems with Starliner just weeks before launch". Ars Technica.
  4. ^ Clark, Stephen (25 August 2020). "Boeing plans second Starliner test flight in December 2020 or January 2021". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  5. ^ Potter, Sean (6 October 2021). "NASA Announces Astronaut Changes for Upcoming Commercial Crew Missions" (Press release). NASA. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022.
  6. ^ Granath, Bob (22 January 2019). "NASA Announces Updated Crew Assignment for Boeing Flight Test" (Press release). NASA. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2019. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ Roulette, Joey (7 October 2020). "Boeing's top Starliner astronaut pulls out of space mission role". Reuters. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  8. ^ Evans, Ben (13 February 2021). "Lindgren, Hines Assigned to Crew-4 Dragon Mission, Will Launch Next Year". AmericaSpace.com. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  9. ^ Clark, Stephen (18 May 2022). "Starliner astronauts eager to see results of crew capsule test flight". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 23 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  10. ^ a b Potter, Sean (16 June 2022). "NASA Updates Astronaut Assignments for Boeing Starliner Test Flight". NASA. Retrieved 17 June 2022.