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NASA, Boeing's Starliner to launch 2nd unmanned flight attempt to ISS

It's been close to three years since the Starliner's first unmanned attempt to dock with the International Space Station.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story.

After months of being plagued by issues with flight tests and attempts, NASA and Boeing Space are hoping Thursday will be the day the Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission successfully leaves Earth and heads toward the International Space Station.

The long-anticipated second test flight of the CST-100 Starliner has been grounded since August 2021 after two scrubbed launches. But the weather currently looks favorable for a third-time's-the-charm attempt for liftoff, according to Space Force meteorologists

The launch is currently scheduled for 6:54 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral. The Starliner capsule will be atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. 

If this test flight is successful, ULA says it's the "last major step" before the Atlas V rocket and Starliner capsule take American astronauts to the ISS as part of NASA's Commerical Crew Program.

The first launch delay came in July 2021 when Russia's new Multipurpose Laboratory Module moved the International Space Station out of orientation for the spacecraft to be able to dock. 

The Starliner had to stand down again in August when the spacecraft unexpectedly showed "closed" valve position indications on its propulsion system. 

Following those two failed attempts, Boeing said it would be indefinitely standing down its mission of a second uncrewed flight. 

Then, in March, the company finally gave an updated anticipated launch date of May 19. 

But the two scrubbed launches haven't been the only roadblocks Boeing has faced when it comes to getting Starliner to the ISS. 

Back in December 2019, the company's first uncrewed flight hit a snag in orbit after it launched. After a flawless liftoff, about 30 minutes into the maiden flight, Boeing reported that the capsule's insertion into orbit wasn't normal. 

This caused the Starliner to go off course, making it unable to rendezvous and dock at the International Space Station. 

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RELATED: Starliner will indefinitely stand down from 2nd uncrewed test flight as launch problems persist

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