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NASA and Boeing claim that astronauts are not trapped on the International Space Station

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In a press release, NASA officials said the pair are awaiting propulsion tests on Earth and should return safely.

June 30
2024
– 9:54 PM

(Updated at 11:06 PM)

In a statement issued last Friday (28), NASA officials were keen to inform them that the two astronauts in the spacecraft International Space Station Sunita Williams and Butch Wilmore are not trapped there, although they are supposed to remain there for the next few weeks.

Image: NASA/Public Domain/CanalTech

Steve Stich, coordinator of the US Space Agency's Commercial Crew Program, said there is no rush for the astronauts to return. Together with the company Boeingthe manufacturer of the Starliner spacecraft that took the duo on the line's first manned mission, NASA It plans to conduct ground tests to better understand propulsion incidents at the beginning of the month.

Starliner on the International Space Station

a Boeing Starliner CapsuleIt was docked at the station on June 6 of this year, with the plan to leave Williams and Willmore to conduct tests for only 10 days. But docking delays – linked to propulsion failure and a helium leak – demonstrated the need for repairs and accident studies to understand what happened and ensure a safe return to Earth.

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft has been docked to the International Space Station since June 6 (Image: ESA)

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft has been docked at the International Space Station since June 6 (Image: ESA)

Image: Canaltech

Repairs made so far have left only one of the aircraft's 27 engines inactive. StarlinerThis, according to NASA, is more than enough to return, but the agency is still studying the situation. After some delays in the return date, a statement on Friday said that there is no prospect of returning until tests and analyses are conducted on Earth.

The first tests of the propellant will be conducted at the White Sands Missile Test Range in New Mexico, USA, next Tuesday (2). in the beginning, Starliner had a 45 day limit It will be tethered to the International Space Station due to limitations on its battery, but Stitch said it is being recharged at the station, which could extend the deadline.

NASA officials noted that Boeing spacecraft It works well and can be used as a “life raft” to bring the astronauts back to Earth immediately in case of an emergency. Ultimately, the duo has a backup plan, which is to return on the Crew Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX.

source: NASA video

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