July 21, 2024

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Boeing Starliner astronauts are stuck on the International Space Station while engineers on Earth race against time to fix multiple problems

Boeing Starliner astronauts are stuck on the International Space Station while engineers on Earth race against time to fix multiple problems

Boeing, we have a problem.

The return trip to Earth for NASA astronauts who rode into orbit aboard the company’s trouble-plagued Starliner spacecraft has been postponed for a third time as of Saturday — with Butch Wilmore and Sonny Williams cooling their heels on the International Space Station (ISS) while engineers on Earth, race With time to fix many problems related to the spacecraft.

They reportedly have a 45-day window to return them, according to officials.

The return trip to Earth for two NASA astronauts who rode into orbit aboard the company’s problem-plagued Starliner spacecraft has been postponed for a third time as of Saturday. AP

The Starliner spacecraft’s return module is docked with the Harmony module on the International Space Station, but Harmony has a limited amount of fuel, making the window for a safe return flight increasingly narrow, officials said.

Willmore and Williams were supposed to return home on June 13 after spending a week on the International Space Station.

But due to problems including five helium leaks aboard the Starliner ship, it is still there.

Problems with the Starliner included five propulsion engines that suddenly stopped working during flight and a series of helium leaks. CNN reported.

Posters on the X went to town aboard Boeing, calling on Elon Musk to rescue astronauts with one of his Space

“How dangerous is Boeing’s Starliner? It may need Space books Someone with the handle X @NONbiasedly.

“Boeing Starliner is literally collapsing in space right now.” Captain Coronado wrote.

They reportedly have a 45-day window to return them, according to officials. AFP via Getty Images

“A death trap almost killed the two astronauts during lift-off and flight to the International Space Station. Mismanagement at Boeing proves to be extremely dangerous!!

Others felt that the situation was not as serious as it seemed.

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Space expert Jonathan McDowell He told the newspaper that the situation may not seem as risky as some think.

“You can lose some propulsion devices and still be fine because there are a lot of them but still this is the propulsion system and you want to understand everything that’s going on,” he said.

“They want to make sure these small issues don’t hide bigger issues.”

CNN reported that problems with the Starliner vehicle included five propulsion engines that suddenly stopped working during flight and a series of helium leaks. Satellite image © 2024 Maxar Technologies/AFP via Getty Images

In a worst-case scenario, astronauts would have to wait until Musk’s Dragon spacecraft makes its scheduled trip to the International Space Station in August, McDowell said.

After years of delays and one last-minute stop, Boeing’s Starliner capsule finally lifted off on its first crewed flight from Space Force Station Cape Canaveral in Florida on June 5.

However, during the 25-hour flight, engineers discovered hardware issues, including five separate issues Helium leak They include the vehicle’s thrusters that are part of the Starliner’s propulsion system and five thrust failures in the reaction control system.

“We learned that our helium system was not performing as designed,” Mark Nappi, Boeing’s Starliner program manager, said Tuesday.

“Even though it’s controllable, it still doesn’t work as we designed it. So we have to go find out.”

Engineers aren’t sure what’s causing the problems.