Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

NASA and Boeing Address Status of Starliner Crew Capsule at ISS

NASA and Boeing Address Status of Starliner Crew Capsule at ISS
NASA and Boeing Address Status of Starliner Crew Capsule at ISS

NASA and Boeing officials addressed concerns on Friday regarding the status of the Starliner crew capsule at the International Space Station (ISS), emphasizing that while further analysis is needed, the spacecraft is not stranded.

Astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, who arrived at the ISS on June 6 aboard an Atlas V rocket, were initially scheduled for an eight-day stay, which has now been extended due to ongoing technical evaluations.

Issues with the Starliner’s propulsion system, including helium leaks and thruster glitches, prompted NASA to delay the planned undocking and reentry dates multiple times. The current test flight duration is expected to last at least a month and a half, allowing engineers to address these technical challenges.

Despite initial concerns about battery life, evaluations have shown that the batteries are performing well, potentially allowing for an extended mission duration.

NASA and Boeing Address Status of Starliner Crew Capsule at ISS

NASA and Boeing Address Status of Starliner Crew Capsule at ISS

NASA’s Ken Bowersox emphasized that they are still in the midst of a test mission and are proceeding cautiously. While media reports suggested the Starliner was stranded, NASA’s Steve Stich clarified that this was not the case, reaffirming that plans are underway to return the astronauts safely on the Starliner when ready.

The ISS currently hosts multiple crew spacecraft, including SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Russia’s Soyuz, but there are no plans to switch the return vehicle for Wilmore and Williams. Boeing’s Mark Nappi expressed frustration with negative portrayals in the media, highlighting the successful aspects of the ongoing test flight.

Key to the delay is the need for ground tests on a Starliner thruster to better understand its performance issues. Tests conducted on similar thrusters at the ISS showed promising results, but further ground tests in New Mexico are crucial for confirming their reliability under full operational conditions.

Stich outlined the importance of these tests in providing confidence for the crew’s safe return. He acknowledged previous issues encountered during Starliner’s unmanned test flight in 2022, indicating a need for further understanding of integrated operational effects.

Helium leaks discovered during the current flight are also under investigation, with ground tests ongoing to identify their causes. Stich assured that despite these challenges, Starliner carries sufficient helium reserves for a safe return journey.

Looking ahead, once Starliner returns to Earth and these issues are resolved, NASA and Boeing plan to certify the capsule for regular operational flights. This includes potentially launching the first operational Starliner flight in February, pending successful resolution of current technical challenges. However, SpaceX may fill this launch slot if issues persist, pushing Boeing’s operational missions to later dates.

While challenges persist with the Starliner spacecraft’s current mission, NASA and Boeing remain committed to ensuring a safe return for Wilmore and Williams while gathering valuable data to inform future flights of the crew capsule.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Tech

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently unveiled several innovations aimed at enhancing the development and deployment of generative AI applications, addressing concerns around accuracy and...

News

AU10TIX, an Israeli company that verifies IDs for clients like TikTok, X, and Uber, accidentally left important admin credentials exposed for over a year....

Cars

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos.

Tech

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos.