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BOEING STARLINER CREW FLIGHT TEST RETURNS TO EARTH, June 25-26, 2024, undock June 25 10:10 pm ET; land June 26 4:10 am ET

Update June 21:  As of 2:00 pm ET today, the NASA TV schedule does not show any coverage of undocking or landing next week, but NASA has not indicated that there will be a further delay.

Update, June 18: The landing date has slipped again to allow more time for Starliner tests that can only be done on-orbit. The new plan is for Butch and Suni to undock on June 25 at 10:10 pm ET and land six hours later at White Sands Space Harbor, NM on June 26 at 4:10 am ET.

Because of relative positions of the ISS and the Starliner landing sites, there is a four-day spacing for landing opportunities. During a June 18 briefing, NASA said that would make the next landing opportunity July 2, but that apparently was a misstatement. Four days would be June 30.

Update, June 14:  The June 13 spacewalk was scrubbed shortly before the crew was to exit the space station because of a “spacesuit discomfort” problem.

That spacewalk has been rescheduled for June 24, and the new plan is for Starliner to undock from the International Space Station on June 22, 2024.

Details on undocking and landing times are pending. The date could change again, especially due to weather.

Update, June 9, 5:45 pm ET:  NASA tweeted this afternoon they are targeting June 18 for the return. Details are still TBD.  The reference to “the crew” performing a spacewalk on Thursday presumably is not to the Starliner crew, but the two ISS astronauts (Tracy Dyson and Matt Dominick) already assigned to do it.

The ISS blog and the commercial crew blog have not been updated yet. All that’s available at the moment is this tweet.

Original Entry: Boeing’s Starliner Crew Flight Test (CFT) with NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams launched on June 5, 2024 and docked with the International Space Station on June 6 for what nominally will be an 8-day visit.

The first opportunity for them to return is on June 14, but NASA officials are stressing that the actual date may be later depending on a number of factors. The permanent 7-member ISS crew has a lot of tasks the Starliner crew could help them with, for example. Weather also is always a consideration.

We will post whatever information NASA provides right here.

When they do come back, their primary landing site is at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.  The Starliner capsule lands on land like Russia’s Soyuz capsule, not in the water like SpaceX’s Crew Dragon or NASA’s Orion. There are two Starliner landing sites at White Sands and three backup locations in Arizona, Utah, and California.

Details

Start:
June 25 @ 6:00 pm
End:
June 26 @ 11:00 pm