CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – The launch of a Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket remains on track for liftoff at 6:36 a.m. Eastern Standard Time today, Friday, December 20, 2019, from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Fueling of all three of the cryogenic tanks on Atlas V rocket was completed at 2:36 a.m. EST.
A 4-hour hold to simulate crew ingress into the Starliner spacecraft is now underway which provides a final launch time of 6:36 a.m.
NASA TV live coverage of the Boeing Starliner CST-100 launch will begin its webcast at 5:30 a.m. EST.
According to the latest forecast from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is an 80% chance of favorable weather for the launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The primary weather concerns for launch are cumulus clouds and ground winds.
The test flight of the uncrewed Starliner to the International Space Station will provide valuable data on the end-to-end performance of the Atlas V rocket, Starliner spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, and landing operations.
The data will be used as part of NASA’s process of certifying Boeing’s crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the space station.
U.S. taxpayers will pay an average cost per seat of $90 million for Boeing’s Starliner and approximately $55 million for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA’s Office of Inspector General found.
NASA currently relies on Russia to transport astronauts in a Soyuz spacecraft at an average cost of $79.7 million per seat.