United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket, modified for crewed launches, rolled out of the Vertical Integration Facility Wednesday for the 1,800-foot trek to pad 41 in preparation for liftoff with Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule on an unpiloted mission to the International Space Station.
The 172-foot-tall (52.4-meter) Atlas 5 rocket began its journey atop a mobile launch platform around 9:30 a.m. EST (1430 GMT) Wednesday. Riding rail tracks, the launch platform arrived in place at pad 41, and a crew access arm swung into position next to the Starliner capsule’s side hatch.
Ground crews began preparations to connect the launch platform to the pad’s propellant and electrical systems. The launch countdown for the Starliner Orbital Flight Test is scheduled to begin Thursday night ahead of a planned liftoff at 6:36:43 a.m. EST (1136:43 GMT).
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