Boeing Starliner | Stuck in Space? Here’s What We Know About Boeing’s Starliner Astronauts and NASA

Spaceship Boeing Starliner keep piling up failures. After years of delays and two launches halted by technical problems, now faces an even bigger challenge: astronauts on the first manned flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program with Boeing Space They don’t know when they will return home.. Mission It was only supposed to last nine days. after a successful takeoff on June 5, but Two crew members stayed on the International Space Station for three weeks. (ISS). The capsule is damaged and the space agency admits it. It may be months before we can return to Earth..

Starliner had Helium leak before Atlas V rocket liftoffbut the mission team did not consider it threatening enough to abort it, as it would have been a third failed attempt.”I don’t regret the decision I made“,” Boeing Vice President and Commercial Crew Program Director Mark Nappi said when asked about it.

However technical problems They increased during the 3.5-hour journey to the ISS to such an extent that The engines also failed at a critical point in the journey.. The thing is, both Boeing and NASA admitted this Friday – they had said little until then – that they still don’t know the exact reasons for the failure and, above all, how they can fix it in space. In other words, At this time, they cannot guarantee the return of astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore.which was scheduled for June 14.

Without engines they won’t be able to return.

American aerospace giant I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now ground testingin particular, in the New Mexico desert, with a ship identical to the one stuck on the ISS, Starliner CST-100. But the days go by, and there is no hint of a solution: at first the return date was set for June 26, then it was postponed indefinitely. That’s why, the crew is stuck in space.

Instead and after more than a week of silenceNASA said Friday that Starliner was not “stuck” but rather “docked” to the ISS. On the other hand, the space agency and Boeing’s team reiterate that the astronauts “You’re safe”In addition, they ensure that “it will be safe” to return them backAmerican media reports.

Technical problems have arisen in the Starliner service module, a cylindrical fixture on the bottom of the spacecraft that provides most of the capsule’s effectiveness During the flight. Thanks to its design, the service module would not have survived re-entry without fuel, project sources explain.

“Do not rush”

Thus, NASA and Boeing gave themselves another 45 days to work on the project. battery test series And its effectiveness in orbit” explained Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s commercial crew program. And if it is “absolutely necessary,” the period can be extended to 90 days, he said.

In addition, Stitch recalled that Starliner It is designed to carry out a space flight lasting up to 210 days. and that the rest of the capsule’s systems are “working well.” “There’s no rush to bring them home“, the space agency and Boeing confirmed. Meanwhile, Williams and Wilmore will still be in space. traveling around the Earth at a speed of 27,600 kilometers per hour.

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