Two astronauts ‘stuck’ on International Space Station hope to return on Boeing Starliner capsule

The module that delivered them to the ISS experienced five small helium leaks in the capsule’s maintenance system and technical problems in the propulsion system.

Astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams, crew members of Boeing’s first mission to the International Space Station (ISS), said in a teleconference Wednesday that they fully believe that they will be able to return to Earth on board a ship.

The return of both was scheduled for mid-June, but was delayed (with no date at this time) due to several technical issues on Starliner, including five small helium leaks in the capsule service module.

“Right now, based on what we know, we are absolutely ready,” they defended themselves. Wilmore Orbital Laboratorywho noted that the ship’s performance during takeoff and the first 24 hours was “impressive.”

Both NASA astronauts also expressed confidence in the knowledge and experience of the team behind the mission.

“I have a good feeling in my heart that the ship is going to take us home,” said Williams, who says he bears no grudges about Boeing Capsule Capabilities.

The manned test mission launched on June 5 from a platform at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA, and docked with the ISS Harmony module the following day.

The return of the mission, which was supposed to remain at the space station for about a week, has been delayed due to the discovery of helium leaks, as well as technical problems in the propulsion system ship.

According to the US space agency, once all the tests and data analysis are completed, they will work with Boeing managers to create full review before setting a return course to New Mexico from the orbital complex.

Success of the CFT (Crew Flight Test) mission would mean NASA would have a second supplier after SpaceX to transport crew and cargo missions to the orbiting lab under contracts signed with both private firms in 2014.

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