I saw this afternoon and thought it was a good Space Saturdays post – NASA gives go-ahead for Starliner test flight to space station – Space Saturdays December 14, 2019: https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/12/nasa-gives-go-ahead-for-starliner-test-flight-to-space-station/.
NASA officials cleared Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft for flight Thursday after a “thorough and comprehensive” review of the crew capsule’s readiness, setting the stage for final pre-launch preparations at Cape Canaveral ahead of liftoff Dec. 20 on an unpiloted demonstration mission to the International Space Station.
The Starliner’s Orbital Flight Test will blast off on top of a 172-foot-tall (52.4-meter) United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The test flight is a prerequisite for the first Starliner launch with astronauts on-board, a milestone mission scheduled some time in 2020.
“Together, NASA and Boeing are ready to demonstrate the capabilities of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft ton top of a human-rated Atlas 5 rocket,” said James Morhard, NASA’s deputy administrator. “This is the first flight test to the International Space Station of this new crew-capable system.”
During a full day of briefings and discussion Thursday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, representatives from NASA, Boeing and United Launch Alliance reviewed the status of flight hardware, software and the space station’s readiness to receive the Starliner spacecraft.
“We are go for launch for the Orbital Flight Test next Friday, Dec. 20,” said Phil McAlister, director of NASA’s commercial spaceflight development programs. “There’s still some standard open work to complete, and a couple of technical issues we have to close out, so we could move off the 20th. But right now, the 20th is looking good.”
Set to launch December 20, 2019 if things go as planned.
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