Home Uncategorized Astronaut Sunita Williams’ Return To Earth Delayed Again. What NASA Said

Astronaut Sunita Williams’ Return To Earth Delayed Again. What NASA Said

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Astronaut Sunita Williams' Return To Earth Delayed Again. What NASA Said

Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams’ scheduled return to Earth has been delayed once again after the spacecraft in which she travelled to space, the Boeing Starliner, faced a series of technical glitches.

The astronaut, who left Earth on June 5 was set to return on June 14, after a week in space. However, her return was delayed to June 26. Now, no new date for her return has been disclosed by NASA.

NDTV had reported that the space agency had extended Ms Williams’ stay on the space station after five helium leaks were detected on the Starliner spaceship and five of its 28 thrusters faced issues. At least 14 thrusters are needed for a safe return.

For now, Ms Williams and her crewmate Butch Wilmore are both safe on the International Space Station along with the seven other crew members. The ISS is a “mini city in space” about the size of a football field that astronauts from multiple space agencies use for research.

In a press briefing, NASA said it is taking “our time and following our standard mission management team process”, adding that the spacecraft is clear for return in case of an emergency on the space station that requires the crew to come back to Earth.

The space agency said mission managers are evaluating future return opportunities following a planned spacewalk on July 2.

“Starliner is performing well in orbit while docked to the space station. We are strategically using the extra time to clear a path for some critical station activities while completing readiness for Butch and Suni’s return on Starliner and gaining valuable insight into the system upgrades we will want to make for post-certification missions,” it said

Before the veteran astronaut returned to space, her flight was marred with several delays as the launch of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft was repeatedly postponed by NASA. On June 7, the Indian-origin astronaut broke into a dance as she entered the space station.

While Ms Williams has described the Boeing Starliner as a “fantastic spacecraft”, several whistleblowers have accused Boeing and NASA of neglect.

They have alleged that both Boeing and NASA managers knew of the technical faults with the spaceship but went ahead with the launch to avoid further delay. So far 20 whistleblowers, have accused NASA of ignoring their concerns.

On the other hand, aircraft maker Boeing has faced several allegations of technical failures as several of its aircrafts have suffered serious snags during flights across the globe.



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