How to Watch Boeing Starliner Launch After Space Taxi's 2019 Failure to Reach ISS

NASA is showing coverage of the second uncrewed flight test of the Boeing Starliner space taxi later this week.

The Starliner capsule will launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida to the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, July 30, at 2:53 p.m. EDT.

The event will be shown on NASA's NASA TV livestream channel, which can be found on YouTube and on the space agency's website.

NASA TV will also stream a pre-launch news conference at 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the 27th July.

Starliner, developed by private aerospace company Boeing, is a crew capsule designed to ferry astronauts and cargo to and from the ISS. The capsule is also known as CST-100.

On Friday, Starliner will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. About 31 minutes after launch it will reach its preliminary orbit, and at around 3 p.m. the next day it is scheduled to dock with the ISS. The launch and docking will be shown on NASA TV.

Boeing has only launched the capsule into orbit once so far, back in December 2019.

Mission crew were aiming to send the capsule to the space station, but a timing glitch meant the capsule did not reach the orbit necessary for an ISS rendezvous and returned to Earth without meeting its primary objective.

For this second attempt, dubbed OFT-2, the Starliner capsule will again try to link up with the space station, while carrying more than 400 pounds of NASA cargo and crew supplies.

It will then return to Earth carrying even more weight, including nitrogen tanks that ISS crew had been using to breathe.

ULA said the OFT-2 mission is "the last major step" before Starliner can begin taking astronauts to the ISS as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner is a space capsule designed to carry up to seven astronauts at once to low-Earth orbit—though for ISS service missions it will carry four astronauts plus some cargo.

It measures 16.5 feet (ft) in height when including both the crew compartment and service compartment, and measures 15ft in diameter.

Each capsule can be used up to 10 times with a six-month turnaround time between launches. They are designed for a land-based return to Earth rather than a water landing. As such, the capsule fires off an airbag before touchdown to absorb the impact shock.

Boeing Starliner on rocket
The Boeing Starliner capsule sits atop an Atlas V rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida, ahead of its first orbital mission in December 2019. The capsule is designed to take astronauts to the ISS. Joe Raedle/Getty