KENNEDY SPACE CENTER/CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – The countdown has begun for the historic maiden blastoff of the Boeing Starliner commercial astronaut ferry ship riding aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket on the critical uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) demonstration journey for NASA to the International Space Station (ISS) near sunrise Friday morning Dec. 20 on a test flight that will pave the way for human missions with NASA astronauts by mid-2020, if all goes well.
Weather odds looks good so far for Fridays sunrise soar to orbit.
So head over to the Florida Space Coast if you can for a space treat to end the week!
We might be treated to the twilight phenomena if the skies are clear
Starliner is the first flight worthy version of the commercial astronaut space taxi.
Launch of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for 6:36 a.m. EST (1136 GMT) Friday, Dec. 20, from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – roughly the moment Earth’s rotation brings Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41 under the space station’s orbital plane.
Enjoy my Space UpClose gallery of imagery taken today Thursday Dec 19 at Launch Complex 41 during our media remote canera setup this afternoon.
Also enjoy our Space UpClose gallery of imagery taken earlier today during the KSC Countdown Clock briefing with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, the 5 NASA/Boeing commercial crew astronauts and KSC Director/astronaut Bob Cabana.
You can watch the launch live on NASA TV and the agency’s website starting at 5:30 a.m. EST:
Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict an 80% chance of favorable weather for launch on Friday morning.
Primary concerns for launch day are the Cumulus Cloud Rule and User Ground Winds violations during the instantaneous launch window.
The uncrewed OFT flight test will be Starliner’s maiden mission to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Starliner will be delivered to orbit bolted atop the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket and are now in the final stages of pre-launch preparations at Cape Canaveral from Launch Pad 41 on Friday, Dec 20.
Both the Boeing capsule and the ULA Atlas V rocket are ready for liftoff with no issues at this time.
Watch Ken’s continuing reports onsite for live reporting of the upcoming Starliner OFT mission & recent SpaceX JCSAT launch at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
Dec 19/20: 7 PM, Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “Boeing Starliner Launches to ISS & SpaceX JCSAT launch.” Free. In hotel lobby. Photos for sale
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.