Watch Boeing's Starliner capsule meet its rocket ahead of crucial test flight (video)

Boeing's Starliner capsule took a drive by some historical launch sites earlier this month on its path to the pad.

Starliner, which passed its flight readiness review on Wednesday (May 11) to attempt a new uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station on May 19, was caught in a recent timelapse video gearing up for the mission. 

Starliner's journey in the 2-minute timelapse, which Boeing posted on Twitter Tuesday (May 10), begins at the company's Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. The video shows Starliner moving to United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which is next door to KSC.

Related: Boeing, NASA zero in on fix for Starliner capsule's valve problem

Accompanied by technicians, Starliner scoots out in front of a crowd, drives on a KSC launch pad road, and then makes its way over to the VIF, where it's hoisted by crane for mating atop a ULA Atlas V rocket. Integration activities will be ongoing in the days before launch.

Starliner's coming mission, known as Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2), will be Boeing's second try at an ISS meetup. Boeing will once again attempt to simulate a crewed ISS mission with Starliner, demonstrating the key activities of launch, docking and splashdown.

During the first OFT mission, which launched in December 2019, Starliner suffered a number of glitches that prevented a rendezvous with the orbiting lab. Boeing is now hoping for a crewed test flight to the ISS later in 2022, provided OFT-2 goes well.

OFT-2 was supposed to launch last year, but Starliner and the Atlas V were rolled off its launch pad launch pad in early August to address more than a dozen stuck valves in the capsule's service module. Ongoing troubleshooting of the valves, along with a busy launch schedule to the ISS, pushed the mission into 2022.

Boeing says it is confident it has addressed the valve problem, which was caused by moisture interacting with oxidizer and creating corrosion. The company also swapped out Starliner's service module, initially planned for a forthcoming flight.

A second company is also offering astronaut rides to space. SpaceX delivered its first test crew in 2020 and recently launched its fourth operational test flight, called Crew-4. Boeing and SpaceX both have commercial crew contracts from NASA to perform ISS crewed missions.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: