John Mulholland, vice president and program manager for commercial programs at Boeing's space exploration business unit, said the company is set to subject its CST-100 Starliner crew vehicle to a pad abort test on Nov. 4 and carry out an unmanned orbital test flight of the spacecraft on Dec. 17 aboard a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas 5 rocket.
The uncrewed OFT mission is set to launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida to bring CST-100 to the International Space Station, where the spacecraft will stay for about one week before leaving for Earth. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced in a tweet Tuesday that he expects the in-flight abort test of its Crew Dragon spacecraft to occur in late November or early December.
Benji Reed, director of commercial crew mission management at SpaceX, said the company has conducted more than 25 parachute tests and that the Falcon 9 booster and the spacecraft are now in Florida for the final preparation phase.
“The static-fire anomaly investigation is almost complete with mitigations that have been identified and already incorporated into the vehicles,“ Reed said during a panel session of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in New Mexico Tuesday.