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Boeing Starliner astronauts ‘are not stranded’ in orbit, NASA insists

Boeing Space's Starliner docked at the International Space Station in June 2024.
Boeing Space’s Starliner docked on the International Space Station in June 2024. NASA

NASA has insisted that its two Starliner astronauts aren’t stranded in orbit because it continues to research points with the thrusters on the spacecraft. which is at present docked on the International Space Station (ISS).

The Starliner introduced NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore to the ISS on June 6 in what was the primary crewed journey for the automobile. But on the ultimate strategy to the orbital outpost, it grew to become obvious that 5 of the Starliner’s thrusters weren’t functioning within the right method.

The thrusters serve to take care of the suitable orientation of the crew capsule and might be important for guiding the Starliner towards its reentry into Earth’s environment when the automobile lastly returns residence. The company has additionally been investigating 5 helium leaks that occurred on the Starliner throughout its journey to the ISS.

In a media conference streamed on-line on Friday, Steve Stich, supervisor of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, stated: “I want to make it very clear that Butch and Suni are not stranded in space.”

Stich stated the plan is to carry the 2 astronauts again to Earth on the Starliner and that there was no rush to get the pair residence.

The authentic mission would’ve seen Williams and Wilmore spend a couple of week aboard the station, however their time orbit is now approaching the four-week mark with no goal date introduced for his or her return.

In a worst-case situation, if engineers deem the situation of the Starliner too dangerous for the astronauts to journey in, it’s attainable Williams and Wilmore may hitch a experience residence on a docked Crew Dragon spacecraft operated by SpaceX. Alternatively, they may watch for a SpaceX Crew Dragon to be prepped and despatched for them in an identical method to how a NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and two cosmonauts waited for a Russian Soyuz spacecraft after the one they traveled in suffered injury whereas docked on the station.

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