Postponing the return of the first manned space flight on board the Boeing Starliner

The Starliner docked with the International Space Station (ISS).

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NASA postponed the return of the Starliner space capsule to Earth. The American organization First wants to further investigate the problems that have come to light with Boeing’s first spaceship. The return was scheduled to take place next Wednesday, but it has been postponed until further notice.

The Starliner spacecraft left for the International Space Station at the beginning of this month, carrying two NASA astronauts: Barry Wilmore (61 years old) and Sunita Williams (58 years old). This was the first time that a spacecraft was launched with people on board. Tests have previously been conducted using on-board dummies.

This is how Starliner was launched:

Two veterans go into space on the first flight of a Boeing Starliner

Willmore and Williams were able to dock the Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station a few days later. However, this did not happen without obstacles. A small helium leak was found. This material is important for fuel lines to thrusters.

Problems were also found with five of those defenses. By getting four of the rockets working again, Wilmore and Williams were able to dock with the space station.

It has been postponed several times

The plan was for the two to stay on the International Space Station for at least eight days and then return aboard the Starliner ship. However, that return has been postponed several times already. This time the new departure date was not mentioned. NASA first wants to take a closer look at the problems that arose with the Starliner spacecraft on its way there.

Previous unmanned tests with Starliner also did not go smoothly. During the last test flight, in 2022, problems were also discovered with the propulsion devices. The spacecraft returned to Earth successfully.

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is supposed to become the second American spacecraft on which NASA can transport astronauts to the International Space Station, in addition to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Astronauts also go to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Thanks to the commercial initiatives of SpaceX and Boeing, NASA is no longer dependent on Russian Soyuz capsules. NASA is also working on a capsule itself called Orion.

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