HomeNewsNationalBoeing Starliner's Return To Earth Delayed As More Leaks Discovered

Boeing Starliner’s Return To Earth Delayed As More Leaks Discovered

The return of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, currently docked at the International Space Station (ISS), has been delayed due to the discovery of multiple helium leaks. The spacecraft, carrying NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, was scheduled to return on June 14, but the mission has been extended to no earlier than June 18.

Helium is used in spacecraft thruster systems to enable the thrusters to fire while navigating through space. Despite the leaks, engineers have determined that the capsule has sufficient helium for its return mission, approximately ten times the amount needed.

“.@NASA and @BoeingSpace teams set a return date of no earlier than Tuesday, June 18, for the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test. The additional time in orbit will allow the crew to perform a spacewalk on Thursday, June 13, while engineers complete #Starliner systems checkouts,” the account for the International Space Station wrote on X.

The Starliner’s journey has been fraught with difficulties, including numerous delays, technical issues, and an unsuccessful uncrewed test flight in 2019. The first helium leak was discovered last month but was not deemed severe enough to delay the spacecraft’s journey to the ISS. However, more leaks were detected during the journey and docking procedures.

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