Boeing Orbital Flight Test Prelaunch Broadcast Begins

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Marie Lewis: Welcome this morning to NASA’s
Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I’m Marie Lewis with NASA Public Affairs. Josh Barrett: And I’m Josh Barrett with
Boeing Communications. Starliner is nearly ready for our uncrewed
Orbital Flight Test; you can see it over our shoulders, lit up on the launch pad. It’s a little windy out, but right now,
that won’t stop liftoff scheduled for 6:36 a.m. Eastern time. Let’s take a look again at the pad. Ground crews are currently wrapping up operations
in the White Room. I want to take you back to about 4:34 a.m.
this morning – that’s when they actually closed the hatch inside the White Room. We should have some video of them wrapping
up that operation. Marie: Yeah, and –
Josh: There you go, there you see it. Now, the pad team is actually running about
45 minutes ahead of schedule, which is really awesome news on their first time doing this. Marie: Yeah, remarkable. Because this is the first time they’re doing
it for real. So, it was so cool. I mean, this video you’re seeing was a little
bit earlier this morning. Like you said, they’re ahead of schedule. So, they’ve already left the White Room,
but everything is looking good. And there’s no crew flying today, but teams
are operating just as if astronauts are on board. Now this is a live view – you see the crew
still up there on the tower. And we are, as we get closer to launch, we’re
going to see the White Room and the crew access arm start to swing away from Starliner in
preparation for liftoff. But, there they are making those final preparations
to leave the pad. Josh: Now, this uncrewed test flight is incredibly
important for us to prove that we can safely fly astronauts to the International Space
Station. Marie: This is a huge day for the entire NASA,
Boeing and United Launch Alliance teams. Since the Space Shuttle Program ended, we’ve
all been working hard to return human spaceflight capability to the United States. We call this effort NASA’s Commercial Crew
Program. It’s a partnership we have with Boeing and
SpaceX, and today is Starliner’s big debut. Josh: And our goal is for everyone watching
today to see a mission as close as possible to a crewed flight, and to collect the mountains
of data that we can only learn from flying. Marie: It’s also the first time our mission
teams have a chance to put Starliner through its paces. We’ve all been practicing, but now, as you
can see in the control room, it’s game day. Josh: We’re really excited to show you how
this all comes together. Teams from NASA, Boeing and ULA all have to
be in lock step to be successful today. We all have people spread across the country
sitting on console. We have three control rooms here in Florida:
United Launch Alliance’s Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center is on the Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station, Starliner’s Launch Control – the Boeing Mission Control Center – is
just across the street from us here at Kennedy… Marie: And NASA’s Emergency Operations Center
is activated, ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Then in Houston at Johnson Space Center, the
Space Station Control Room is following the mission closely as well. Josh: And Starliner’s Mission Control is
just down the hall from that Space Station Control Room, that’s where flight controllers
are actually commanding the vehicle right now. And finally, ULA also has teams in Denver
monitoring ascent.


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