NASA postpones Starliner’s return to Earth again

Insight Online News

Washhington, June 22 : US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), together with Boeing company, is delaying the return to Earth of the Starliner spaceship and yet are not disclosing a new date, NASA said in a statement on Saturday.

On Tuesday, NASA officials postponed the return to Earth from the International Space Station of the troubled Boeing Starliner spacecraft with US astronauts Barry Gilmore and Sunita Williams by four days from June 22 to Wednesday, June 26.

“NASA and Boeing leadership are adjusting the return to Earth of the Starliner Crew Flight Test spacecraft with agency astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams from the International Space Station [ISS],” NASA said in the mission’s blog.

Putting off the operation will give the ground-based services additional time to review the propulsion system data and will deconflict Starliner’s undocking and landing from a series of planned ISS spacewalks, planned for June 24 and July 2, the statement read.

“Starliner is performing well in orbit while docked to the space station … We are strategically using the extra time to clear a path for some critical station activities while completing readiness for Butch and Suni’s return on Starliner and gaining valuable insight into the system upgrades we will want to make for post-certification missions,” NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager Steve Stich was quoted in the blog statement as saying.

​​The Starliner docked with the International Space Station on its first crewed mission on June 5 but experienced problems with five of its 28 thrusters and reported at least four separate helium leaks. NASA officials said the leaks were well within the acceptable margins of safety and that four of the thrusters had failed due to software problems that they had resolved.

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