NASA: Astronauts Stranded in Space, Don’t Know When They’ll Be Returned

Due to technical setbacks, the mission has been extended repeatedly, with no specific date for return in sight.

at this time, The International Space Station (ISS) has eight astronauts, Those who reside in this orbiting laboratory 400 kilometers from the Earth’s surface. However, the number should be limited to six, as originally planned.

Sonny Williams and Butch Wilmore took off on June 5 aboard Boeing’s Starliner capsule, their first flight. The ship, a direct competitor to SpaceX for ferrying astronauts to the orbiting complex, was intended for a mission known as Crew Flight Test (CFT), It was initially scheduled for a brief few. 10 days. However, due to technical setbacks, the mission was extended repeatedly. With no specific return date in sight. Problems such as a helium leak and a propulsion failure aboard the Starliner kept Williams and Wilmore in space. Waiting for a possible rescue mission by SpaceX with the Crew Dragon capsule.

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Starliner has major flaws.

While docking with the International Space Station on June 6, Starliner encountered unexpected complications, including: Helium leaks and problems with several propellants. Although Boeing confirmed that the ship remains stable and ready to launch Emergency evacuation If necessary, both NASA and Boeing decided to It takes more time to investigate thoroughly. The underlying causes of these problems before setting a new return date.

“We will complete our tests, analyze the fault tree and then decide our next step.” Steve Stich, head of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, commented: Stressing the need for careful evaluation before making any decision.

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Comparisons to the early days of the Space Shuttle were not absent from the discussions. Stitch echoed this when it came to The current challenges are similar to those faced during NASA’s first space shuttle flight in 1981, Noting the noticeable similarities in the technical problems that arose.

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft docks at the International Space Station for the first time. NASA/AFP

Mark Nabi, Boeing’s vice president and commercial crew program manager, expressed confidence in the continuous learning process during this test mission. “It’s part of the process. It’s not surprising at all.” Nabi mentioned the last communications with the crew from orbit.

Meanwhile, on the International Space Station, Wilmore and Williams continue their daily duties, including maintenance work, while awaiting news of their return home.

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