What is the reason for delay in astronauts return from space mission?

By Divya Jun 29, 2024 #Astronauts #NASA
What is the reason for delay in astronauts' return from space mission?

NASA Astronauts Stranded in Space: What’s Causing the Delay?

Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams is currently stranded in space aboard a Boeing Starliner spacecraft after encountering technical issues.

Starliner’s Technical Troubles

The Starliner spacecraft has faced several problems both before and during its mission. A computer glitch delayed its launch, followed by a faulty valve and a small helium leak in one of its thrusters. Additionally, five thrusters have malfunctioned, and a propellant valve remains partially open.

NASA Accused of Negligence

A report by CBS News suggests that NASA and Boeing were aware of the helium leak before the June 5 launch but dismissed it as a minor issue. This has led to accusations of negligence.

Delayed Return

Williams and her fellow astronaut, Josh Wilmore, were initially scheduled to return on June 13 but the spacecraft’s ongoing problems have delayed their departure. A planned launch on June 26 was also scrubbed, and now the next attempt is set for July 2.

Fuel Shortages

The Starliner can remain docked at the International Space Station (ISS) for only 45 days. With about 22 days already spent, NASA is considering alternative options for bringing Williams and Wilmore back, including SpaceX’s Crew Dragon or the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Potential Return Date

NASA has now targeted early July for the astronauts’ return. The agency and Boeing are using this extended stay at the ISS to assess the issues with the thrusters.

The situation highlights the challenges and risks involved in space missions and the importance of thorough preparation to ensure the safety of astronauts.

By Divya

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