NASA Sets Coverage, Invites Public to Virtually Join Starliner Launch

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch, launch, and docking activities for…

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch, launch, and docking activities for the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station. Scheduled to launch at 2:53 p.m. EDT Friday, July 30, OFT-2 is the second uncrewed flight for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner will launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. About 31 minutes after launch, Starliner will reach its preliminary orbit. It is scheduled to dock to the space station at 3:06 p.m. Saturday, July 31. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

The spacecraft will carry more than 400 pounds of NASA cargo and crew supplies to the space station and return to Earth with more than 550 pounds of cargo, including reusable Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members.

OFT-2 will demonstrate the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner spacecraft and Atlas V rocket from launch to docking to a return to Earth in the desert of the western United States. The uncrewed mission will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying Boeing’s crew transportation system for regular flights with astronauts to and from the space station.

The deadline has passed for media accreditation for in-person coverage of this launch. More information about media accreditation is available by emailing: ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov.

NASA has updated its coronavirus (COVID-19) policies to remain consistent with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. Credentialed media will receive additional details from the media operations team at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA’s Boeing OFT-2 mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Thursday, July 22

6 p.m. – Flight Readiness Review (FRR) Media Teleconference at Kennedy (or no earlier than one hour after completion of the FRR), with the following participants:

  • Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA
  • Norm Knight, director, Flight Operations Directorate
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • John Vollmer, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program

Media may ask questions via phone only. For the dial-in number and passcode, please contact the Kennedy newsroom no later than 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov.

Tuesday, July 27

TBD – Prelaunch News Conference on NASA TV (or no earlier than one hour after completion of the Launch Readiness Review):

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • John Vollmer, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program
  • Gary Wentz, vice president, Government and Commercial Programs, ULA
  • Will Ulrich, launch weather officer, U.S. Space Force, 45th Weather Squadron

Media may ask questions in-person and via phone. Limited auditorium space will be available for in-person participation. For the dial-in number and passcode, please contact the Kennedy newsroom no later than 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, at: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov.

Thursday, July 29

10:30 a.m. – NASA Administrator Media and Social Briefing on NASA TV, with the following participants:

  • NASA Administrator Bill Nelson
  • NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy
  • Janet Petro, director, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
  • Chris Ferguson, director, Starliner Mission Operations and Integration/Crew Systems
  • Barry «Butch» Wilmore, NASA astronaut, Crew Flight Test
  • E. Michael «Mike» Fincke, NASA astronaut, Crew Flight Test
  • Nicole Mann, NASA astronaut, Crew Flight Test
  • Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist, NASA’s International Space Station Program

Media may ask questions in-person and via phone. Limited auditorium space will be available for in-person participation. For the dial-in number and passcode, please contact the Kennedy newsroom no later than 10 a.m. Thursday, July 29, at: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov.

Friday, July 30

2 p.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins. NASA TV will have continuous coverage through Starliner orbital insertion.

4 p.m. (approximately) – Postlaunch news conference on NASA TV:

  • TBD, NASA Representatives
  • TBD, Boeing Representative
  • TBD, United Launch Alliance Representative

Media may ask questions in-person and via phone. Limited auditorium space will be available for in-person participation. For the dial-in number and passcode, please contact the Kennedy newsroom no later than 3:30 p.m. Friday, July 30, at: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov.

Saturday, July 31

12 p.m. – NASA TV rendezvous and docking coverage begins

3:06 p.m. (approximately) – Docking

Sunday, Aug. 1

9:15 a.m. – NASA TV hatch opening and welcoming remarks coverage begins

9:35 a.m. (approximately) – Hatch opening and welcoming remarks about 10:35 a.m.

NASA TV Launch Coverage

NASA TV live coverage will begin at 2 p.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules, and links to streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA «V» circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, «mission audio,» countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

On launch day, a «clean feed» of the launch without NASA TV commentary will be carried on the NASA TV media channel. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz and UHF radio frequency 444.925 MHz, heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.

NASA Website Launch Coverage

Launch day coverage of NASA’s Boeing OFT-2 mission will be available on the agency’s website. Coverage will include livestreaming and blog updates beginning no earlier than 2 p.m. Friday, July 30, as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact the Kennedy newsroom at: 321-867-2468. Follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at:

http://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Additional Media Opportunities

Live shots and remote live interviews via Zoom will be offered in English with limited availability from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday, July 29, and Friday, July 30. Additional limited slots will be available 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 29. To book a live shot window, media should complete and submit the form available at:

https://go.nasa.gov/3rbiM9T

Public Participation

NASA invites the public to take part in virtual activities and events ahead of OFT-2. Members of the public can register to attend the launch virtually. NASA’s virtual guest program for OFT-2 includes curated launch resources, notifications about NASA social interactions, and the opportunity for a virtual launch passport stamp following a successful launch. Print, fold, and get ready to fill your virtual guest launch passport. Engage kids and students in virtual and hands-on activities that are both family-friendly and educational through Next Gen STEM Commercial Crew.

Watch and Engage on Social Media

Stay connected with the mission on social media via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtag #LaunchAmerica. Follow and tag these accounts:

Twitter: @NASA@Commercial_Crew@Space_Station, @NASAKennedy

Facebook: NASANASACommercialCrewISS Facebook, Kennedy Space Center

Instagram: NASAISS Instagram, NASAKennedy

Follow NASA Interns Instagram for behind-the-scenes coverage as 50 interns from across the nation attend the launch. Learn more about NASA internships and see the launch and tour of Kennedy Space Center through their eyes.

NASA will provide a live video feed of Space Launch Complex-41 approximately 6 hours prior to the planned liftoff of the OFT-2 mission. Pending unlikely technical issues, the feed will be uninterrupted until the prelaunch broadcast begins on NASA TV, approximately one hour prior to launch.

Once the feed is live, it will be available at:

http://youtube.com/kscnewsroom 

Make sure to check out NASA en español on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for more Spanish-language coverage on OFT-2.

Para obtener información sobre cobertura en español en el Centro Espacial Kennedy o si desea solicitar entrevistas en español, comuníquese con Antonia Jaramillo 321-501-8425 antonia.jaramillobotero@nasa.gov.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is delivering on its goal of safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station from the United States through a partnership with American private industry. This partnership is changing the arc of human spaceflight history by opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science, and more commercial opportunities. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in space exploration, including future missions to the Moon and, eventually, to Mars.

For NASA’s launch blog and more information about the mission, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew 

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SOURCE NASA