Uncrewed Mission will Attempt Docking with ISS ahead of Upcoming Crewed Launch
Camarillo, CA and Rockledge, FL (July 26, 2021) — Saalex Corp. is supporting the launch of Boeing’s Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) uncrewed spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), on Friday, July 30. The launch is scheduled for 2:53 EDT from Cape Canaveral Florida. Saalex’s Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Support 3 (ELVIS 3) team provides engineering, programmatic, and technical support for this and other Commercial Crew Program (CCP) missions.
The Starliner OFT-2 mission is expected to last from seven to 14 days, during which the spacecraft will demonstrate its ability to maneuver and dock with the ISS. After rendezvousing with the space station, the Starliner spacecraft will undock and return to Earth, landing in the western U.S. The mission is a precursor to the first crewed flight of the spacecraft, Boeing Crew Flight Test (Boe-CFT), tentatively slated for late 2021 or early 2022.
This mission will be Starliner’s second attempt at docking with the ISS, following a failed attempted during the maiden Starliner (OFT-1) mission in December 2019. That failure was attributed to a software anomaly with the spacecraft’s Mission Elapsed Time (MET) clock. Following the OFT-1 mission, Boeing launched a four-month investigation that resulted in the proposal for a second uncrewed test flight using the same hardware, Starliner spacecraft and Saturn V rocket, as slated for the Boe-CFT crewed flight test.
“NASA and Boeing have done an incredible amount of work to get to this point,” said Steve Stich, Commercial Crew Program manager, NASA. “Our teams are ready for this important mission because of the coordinated efforts of many, including the United Launch Alliance, NASA’s Launch Services Program, and the U.S. Space Force, which enabled us to establish this launch opportunity. We are looking forward to a successful OFT-2 mission.”
The updated launch target is supported by the station’s visiting vehicle schedule, Starliner readiness, and the availability of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
“Our support of the Boeing Starliner test expands our coverage of these commercial ventures that have become the norm in the modern era, opening the next exciting chapter in space exploration,” said Saalex president and CEO, Travis Mack. “We are proud of the contribution our ELVIS 3 team continues to provide to these Commercial Crew Program Missions.”
For ELVIS 3, Saalex has partnered with a.i. solutions to support the Launch Services Program (LSP) and CCP, delivering integrated launch preparation and execution services for the agency’s next-gen scientific and exploration space vehicles.
About Saalex Solutions Saalex Solutions, the Federal services division of Saalex Corporation, supports Department of Defense agencies to include Navy, Army, Air Force, and NASA. It provides core competencies in the areas of test range operations and management, engineering and logistics services, cybersecurity, and information technology services. Founded in 1999 by Travis Mack, Saalex Solutions is a service-disabled veteran-owned business headquartered in Camarillo, CA. Learn more at www.saalex.com.
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