What time is Boeing's 1st Starliner astronaut launch for NASA on May 6?

After years of delays, Boeing is finally ready to launch its first-ever Starliner astronaut mission for NASA on a test flight to the International Space Station on May 6, and if you’re hoping to watch the launch online, you’ll need to know when to tune in.

But don’t fret, space fans. We’ve got you covered. Currently, Boeing’s first Starliner to carry astronauts is set to launch into orbit on Monday at 10:34 p.m. EDT (0234 May 7 GMT) atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The mission will launch NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams on a week-long test flight to the space station, a shakedown cruise Boeing calls its Crew Flight Test, or CFT. You can follow the mission with our Starliner live updates page and watch the launch live on Monday.

Related: Boeing Starliner 1st astronaut flight: Live updates

A white and blue Boeing Starliner capsule is hoisted atop its rocket in a huge hangar.A white and blue Boeing Starliner capsule is hoisted atop its rocket in a huge hangar.

A white and blue Boeing Starliner capsule is hoisted atop its rocket in a huge hangar.

If all goes well, Boeing’s Starliner will launch the astronauts to the space station, dock on Wednesday (May 8) and return to Earth up to eight days later with a landing in the desert of the southwestern United States (previous uncrewed test flights landed at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico). NASA has picked Boeing’s Starliner as one of two astronaut taxis for space station flights — SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is the other — but this CFT test flight is years overdue, and follows two uncrewed Starliner flights, a failed test flight in December 2019 and a successful one in May 2022.

“This will give us that additional capabilities because we always look for a backup,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told reporters in a press conference on Friday (May 3). On Friday, Boeing and NASA agreed Starliner is ready to carry its first astronauts and gave the go ahead for launch, so here’s when and how to watch it fly on May 6.

What time is Boeing’s CFT Starliner launch?

two astronauts in blue boeing spacesuits walk out of a NASA launch preparations buildingtwo astronauts in blue boeing spacesuits walk out of a NASA launch preparations building

two astronauts in blue boeing spacesuits walk out of a NASA launch preparations building

Currently, Boeing’s CFT Starliner is scheduled to launch to the ISS on Monday (May 6) at 10:34 p.m. EDT (0234 May 7 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. There is a 95% chance of good weather at launch time, according to Brian Cizek, launch weather officer for the 45th Weather Squadron at the Space Force station.

Boeing does have three backup opportunities in which to launch the CFT mission, on May 7, May 10 and May 11. The pristine weather forecast is expected to hold at least through the May 7 opportunity, which also has a 95% chance of good weather, Cizek said during Friday’s press conference.

Related: Here’s what to expect on Boeing Starliner’s 1st astronaut test flight

Can I watch Boeing’s Starliner astronaut launch?

Yes, you can watch Boeing’s CFT Starliner launch and subsequent mission events live in a series of webcasts. On launch day, NASA TV will offer a livestream of the launch on May 6 beginning at 6:30 p.m. EDT (2230 GMT) on YouTube, NASA+ and its social media channels. The webcast will run continuously through liftoff and end just after Starliner enters Earth orbit shortly after the launch. Space.com will simulcast the NASA livestream on this page and you’ll be able to watch it on our webcast page.

Boeing will host its own Starliner launch livestream, likely using NASA’s broadcast, at its Starliner launch website. ULA will also host its own Starliner launch webcast on its own Atlas V mission website.

However, NASA will not end its launch webcasts there. The space agency will hold a press conference early Tuesday, May 7, at 12 a.m. EDT (0400 GMT) to discuss the results of Starliner’s launch. That press conference will be led by NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, a former astronaut and space shuttle commander, and be livestreamed on NASA TV and NASA’s YouTube channel. Livestream events are also planned for docking and crew arrival on Wednesday (May 8).

What if Boeing’s Starliner CFT astronaut flight can’t launch on May 6?


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If Boeing’s Starliner CFT mission can’t launch on May 6, the company and its launch partner United Launch Alliance do have some options.

Currently, Boeing, ULA and NASA have four opportunities to launch the CFT mission, one each on May 6, May 7, May 10 and May 11. If Starliner is unable to launch on the night of May 6, Boeing and its partners could make a second attempt as early as Tuesday night, May 7, at 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT), depending on the nature of the issue, said NASA’s Steve Stitch,

If a May 7 launch is not possible, Boeing could attempt Starliner launches to the ISS on Friday, May 10, or on Saturday, May 11. A May 10 launch would be scheduled for 9 p.m. EDT (0100 May 11 GMT), and a May 11 launch would occur at 8:38 p.m. EDT (1238 GMT), NASA officials said.

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