Boeing Starliner’s return from space to hinge on weeks of more testing

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Science

By Joey RouletteWASHINGTON (Reuters) -Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft will not return its two astronauts from the International Space Station until after engineers spend “a couple weeks” testing to investigate the spacecraft’s thruster issues, a NASA official said on Friday.Starliner, which has been docked to the ISS since June 6 after ferrying its first crew of astronauts there, has had its test mission drawn out after a series of issues involving its thrusters and leaks of helium, which is used to pressurize the thrusters.A joint NASA-Boeing team focusing on the thruster issues have planned ground tests at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to test fire the same kind of Starliner thrusters currently in space.”This will be the real opportunity to examine the thruster, just like we’ve had in space, on the ground for detailed inspection,” NASA commercial crew chief Steve Stich told reporters during a news conference.Starliner’s June 6 docking to the ISS was delayed for an hour because five of its 28 maneuvering thrusters had failed. Boeing scrambled to tweak the propulsion system’s software to get four of the thrusters working again and proceed with the docking with the ISS, some 250 miles (400 km) in space.The thruster that remained off failed for reasons differen …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnBy Joey RouletteWASHINGTON (Reuters) -Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft will not return its two astronauts from the International Space Station until after engineers spend “a couple weeks” testing to investigate the spacecraft’s thruster issues, a NASA official said on Friday.Starliner, which has been docked to the ISS since June 6 after ferrying its first crew of astronauts there, has had its test mission drawn out after a series of issues involving its thrusters and leaks of helium, which is used to pressurize the thrusters.A joint NASA-Boeing team focusing on the thruster issues have planned ground tests at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to test fire the same kind of Starliner thrusters currently in space.”This will be the real opportunity to examine the thruster, just like we’ve had in space, on the ground for detailed inspection,” NASA commercial crew chief Steve Stich told reporters during a news conference.Starliner’s June 6 docking to the ISS was delayed for an hour because five of its 28 maneuvering thrusters had failed. Boeing scrambled to tweak the propulsion system’s software to get four of the thrusters working again and proceed with the docking with the ISS, some 250 miles (400 km) in space.The thruster that remained off failed for reasons differen …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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