With the intravehicular activity (IVA) hatch closed and leak checks now complete, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is in a good configuration to return home on May 25. Expedition 67 crew members Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines closed the IVA hatch on Starliner at 3:00 p.m. ET in preparation for undocking. During a farewell ceremony, the crew praised the Boeing and NASA teams for their commitment to the development of the spacecraft.
“It’s been an honor to take part in this and be a tiny cog in the wheel that is the Commercial Crew Program and the amazing teams, the operational teams, the design teams, that put this vehicle together. It was really cool to be on this end of it and watch the culmination of those efforts and all of those activities. So, here’s to you, to all the people who put their hearts and souls into designing and maintaining this vehicle. Well done. We were really proud to receive it up here and we’re packing it up and getting ready to send it back to you. She’ll be in as good of shape as she was when she left. We promise,” said NASA astronaut Bob Hines.
Approximately one hour before undocking, mission operations teams will conduct a landing zone weather briefing. At 45 minutes before undocking, they will conduct the “go/no go” poll to proceed with undocking operations. Coverage of undocking and landing will start at 2:00 p.m. ET on NASA TV and at nasa.gov/live.
After Starliner completes its physical separation from the International Space Station, it will commence its outbound flyaround maneuver, moving above, around and then behind the orbiting laboratory before conducting a departure burn and exiting the approach ellipsoid (AE). Starliner will then start deorbit and landing operations, targeting a touchdown at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico at 6:49 p.m. ET.