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The first astronauts transported by Boeing arrive at the space station – Observer

The first astronauts transported by Boeing arrive at the space station – Observer

The first two astronauts aboard Boeing Co.'s Starliner spacecraft entered the International Space Station on Thursday, a critical step for the anticipated mission, despite problems encountered during the flight with the capsule's propulsion system.

What a wonderful place, and it's great to be back here“We're going to be there,” said a smiling NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore, who, like his colleague Sonny Williams, is making his third visit to the International Space Station.

And on the fourth, it was forever. Boeing sent two astronauts into space

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After taking off from Florida on Wednesday, the spacecraft this Thursday gently approached the International Space Station, which is located 400 kilometers above Earth, and traveled at a speed of about 28 thousand kilometers per hour.

The docking took place at 17:34 GMT (18:34 Lisbon), approximately one hour and twenty minutes later than initially scheduled.

Problems with some of the spacecraft's engines, used to make minor course adjustments, delayed the final approach.

According to NASA, Five of these small defences, out of a total of 28, failed at one pointBut four of them eventually returned to work, providing the necessary numbers for the operation.

The spacecraft door opened about two hours after docking, allowing astronauts Butch Wilmore, 61, and Sonny Williams, 58, to greet the seven other people who were already aboard the flight laboratory (NASA astronauts and Russian cosmonauts).

Butch Wilmore and Sonny Williams will be on the International Space Station for a week and will return to Earth on the same ship.

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On Wednesday night, NASA announced the discovery of two new helium leaks, in addition to a previously known leak, while flying on board the spacecraft.

These leaks do not representA threat to the safety of the crew, the spacecraft, or the missionJim May, a Boeing employee, confirmed this in a message broadcast today by the giant airline.

The first crewed Starliner mission represents a major challenge for the aerospace giant and NASA, AFP writes, adding that its goal is to prove that the vehicle is safe enough to begin regular operations.

Ten years ago, the North American space agency ordered two new vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

Boeing will be investigated for safety failures, following a complaint over the 777 and 787 models

Boeing, which is going on Investigating security failures on its aircraftSpaceX wants to prove with this crewed test flight that Starliner is safe to begin regular operations, despite a four-year delay compared to the competing company SpaceX, owned by entrepreneur Elon Musk, which has been transporting NASA astronauts to the International Space Station since 2020.

Once Starliner is fully operational, NASA intends to alternate between SpaceX and Boeing flights.

The launch of the Starliner manned test flight comes after several years of successive postponements and the cancellation of two takeoff attempts at the last minute due to technical problems.

Boeing now plans to begin commercial flights to the International Space Station in February 2025 after the certification process is completed.