Starliner Stuns for Successful Sunrise Launch on ULA Atlas V – Last from Cape 2019: Gallery

Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 – as seen in this remote camera view. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER/CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – Starliner stunned during the successful sunrise launch of Boeing’s astronaut space taxi aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket Friday, Dec 20 – marking the final launch of 2019 from the Cape on Florida’s Space Coast.

Unfortunately the commercial capsule suffered a serious mishap that sent it into the wrong orbit when the ships thrusters fired far too long and expended so much fuel that the primary goal of safely accomplishing a critical docking to the International Space Station (ISS) was scrubbed.

Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 – as seen in this remote camera view. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Launch of the CST-100 Starliner human rated spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket took place right on time as scheduled at 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 pad 41 under the space station’s orbital plane.

Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 – as seen in this remote camera view. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Enjoy my Space UpClose gallery of imagery taken today from my viewing perch on the rooftop of NASA’s iconic 52 story tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) as well as my remote cameras ringing the Atlas Starliner inside the security perimeter fence at pad 41.

UpClose view of RD180 main engine firing as Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 – as seen in this remote camera view. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

It did reach orbit and landed safely about 48 hours later Sunday, Dec 22, at 7:58 a.m. ET at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico after an abbreviated 2 day mission cut short by a timing failure that sent the ship into the wrong orbit and unable to dock at the International Space Station (ISS).

Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on ULA Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The touchdown marks the 1st time an American-made, human-rated capsule has landed on land and it was a bullseye landing.

UpClose view of RD180 main engine firing as Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 – as seen in this remote camera view. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
UpClose view of RD180 main engine firing as Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 – as seen in this remote camera view. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft arcs over and soars to space after liftoff on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in this long duration exposure photo on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 as seen from the VAB roof. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Note SLS Mobile Launcher positioned at bottom, center along crawlerway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Starliner is the first flight worthy version of the commercial astronaut space taxi.

Starliner, and the competing Crew Dragon spacecraft from SpaceX, were both developed with some $7 Billion of funding under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) started nearly a decade ago.

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.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

Ken’s upcoming outreach events:

Jan 5: 7 PM, Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “SpaceX Starlink and In Flight Abort Test Starliner Launches Jan 2020.” Free. In hotel lobby. Photos for sale

Boeing’s Starliner lifts off on ULA Atlas V rocket from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Boeing’s Starliner lifts off on ULA Atlas V rocket from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

UpClose view of RD180 main engine firing as Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 – as seen in this remote camera view. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Boeing’s Starliner lifts off on ULA Atlas V rocket from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 as seen from the VAB roof. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 as seen from the VAB roof. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 – as seen in this remote camera view. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
‘Space Jellyfish’ forms in the sunrise sky known as the twilight phenomena appears minutes after launch of Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft on ULA Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft lifts off on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019 as seen from the VAB roof. Starliner thruster firing mishap scrubbed docking to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

‘Space Jellyfish’ forms in the sunrise sky known as the twilight phenomena appears minutes after launch of Boeing’s Starliner human-rated spacecraft on ULA Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the unpiloted Orbital Flight Test mission at 6:36 a.m. EDT Dec. 20, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

KSC Countdown Clock briefing on Dec 19, 2019 at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, the 5 NASA/Boeing commercial crew Starliner astronauts and KSC Director/astronaut Bob Cabana and Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard ahead of the Orbital Flight Test mission targeting launch on Dec. 20, 2019 to ISS. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft atop ULA Atlas V standing vertical at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida ahead of the Orbital Flight Test mission targeting launch on Dec. 20, 2019 to ISS. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft atop ULA Atlas V standing vertical at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida ahead of the Orbital Flight Test mission targeting launch on Dec. 20, 2019 to ISS. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Up Close view of Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft atop ULA Atlas V standing vertical at Cape Canaveral Launch Complex-41 for the OFT mission targeting launch on Dec. 20, 2019. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

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.

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