Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Starliner vehicle will remain on board the International Space Station for further testing, but it is not stuck in space

Date:

NASA and Boeing held a new press conference on June 28, at 8:00 p.m. Italy time, to provide new updates on the status of the Starliner capsule that has docked on the International Space Station, on the status of extravehicular activity programming, and on the recent contract with SpaceX to build a vehicle that will deorbit the station. Space International.

NASA stated that a date has not yet been set for the Starliner’s return to Earth, because by keeping the capsule in space they will be able to conduct more tests. It was noted that this was a test flight, and the astronauts on the International Space Station were in excellent health and “enjoying it.”

Both NASA and Boeing have repeatedly stated that the capsule is not stuck in space, and that the CFT astronauts are not stranded on the International Space Station. This has been reiterated by a number of articles and statements that have appeared in recent weeks, especially in the United States.

Furthermore, on June 27, following the destruction of a Russian satellite that produced more than 180 pieces of debris in low Earth orbit, astronauts were ordered to take shelter in their safety capsules. This was done to ensure immediate departure from the station in the event of a real emergency. Astronauts Sunny Williams and Butch Wilmore took refuge in the Starliner, indicating that NASA had guaranteed the capsule was safe for return.

The Starliner’s problems aren’t that bad

During the press conference, it was mentioned that the Starliner’s 45-day maximum in space has been updated to an additional 45 days. This is because the limit is determined by the charging of the batteries, which are recharged by the International Space Station.

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In addition, helium leaks have decreased, and ground tests are currently being conducted on models of these engines. They will burn up a new prototype of the engine, to see how it performs compared to the one in orbit. Preparation for the test will begin on Tuesday, July 2, and once it is conducted, the Starliner’s return date will be evaluated.

Another recurring thing is that these propulsion problems are in the RCS system on the service module, which is not a reusable component, as it will burn up during re-entry into the atmosphere. For this reason, any testing that can be done is best done in orbit.

In response to a question, Mark Nappi, vice president of the Commercial Crew Program at Boeing, said they currently understand the propulsion issue well enough to ensure a safe re-entry, but not well enough to ensure they can fix it permanently. He finally confirmed that Boeing will not abandon the Starliner project, and will complete the commitments it made with NASA for the six missions to the International Space Station.

Updates on SpaceX’s suits and the US Deorbit spacecraft

Regarding the spacesuits, and the problems encountered during the recent extravehicular activity, NASA stated that the July 2 activity has been canceled, and the next attempt will likely take place at the end of the month.

Furthermore, another major doubt was resolved by indicating that the ISS deorbit vehicle, which SpaceX will build, will be derived from the Dragon capsule. It was also confirmed that the ISS will be deorbited in one go, and will not be broken into pieces.

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NASA’s Bill Speitch said there aren’t many details yet about the program, because it’s still in its early stages.

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Karen Hines
Karen Hines
"Internet trailblazer. Travelaholic. Passionate social media evangelist. Tv advocate."

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