July 14, 2024

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American astronauts stranded in space

American astronauts stranded in space

Local media reported that the Boeing Starliner spacecraft was intended to carry NASA passengers on a round trip to the International Space Station (ISS) to prove that the capsule — also long-awaited and over budget — was up to the challenge.

However, problems with helium, fuel and isolation valve leaks, among other things, meant that the repatriation was not on June 14, nor would it be on the 22nd, and now there is talk of four days later, on the 26th.

If the issues are not resolved, astronauts Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams — who also saw their pre-liftoff schedules postponed due to technical issues — will have to wait until July 2, mission officials said.

The space mission was going to orbit our planet last Friday; But due to inconveniences, it is still docked on the orbital platform to complete a series of operations and solve the helium leak.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Manager, Steve Stitch, said that after reviewing the engineering data, “experts will focus on the ship’s return.”

They priced next June’s election, he predicted, as an opportunity to land in the New Mexico desert before dawn, a date when they expect the weather to be mild.

With this shipment, Boeing wants to obtain certifications to serve as a second provider to transport cargo and crew to the International Space Station, as SpaceX has already done after million-dollar contracts the two private companies signed with the federal agency.

Regarding the state of mind of the Starliner astronauts, Stitch stressed that “they are in good shape, and they love the vehicle and they love being on the International Space Station” so much that they “want to stay for a long period of time” on the space platform.

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Astronauts Wilmore and Williams have been out of Earth’s orbit since June 6, and are currently dealing with the “unplanned” aspect of this mission.

MIM/DFM