Starliner’s Return to Earth Postponed Indefinitely Due to Ongoing Technical Issues


Boeing’s first manned spaceship, Starliner, remains docked at the International Space Station (ISS) after its launch on June 5, with its return delayed yet again. The spacecraft, carrying astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, was initially supposed to return home, but a series of issues, including helium leaks and thruster malfunctions, have pushed back the timeline.

While all but one of the thrusters are now operational, NASA is taking its time to thoroughly inspect the propulsion system before allowing the spacecraft to return. “We are taking our time and following our standard mission management team process,” said Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “We are letting the data drive our decision making relative to managing the small helium system leaks and thruster performance we observed during rendezvous and docking.”

The Starliner can safely remain docked at the ISS for 45 days, which would be mid-to-late July. A spacewalk is scheduled for July 2, so a return will not happen before then. Despite the delays, Mark Nappi, program manager of the program, reported that the astronauts’ feedback about the Starliner has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

Keely Bastow
Keely Bastow
Associate editor of breaking news. Keely’s previously worked at Axios and Washingtonian and holds a master’s in journalism from American University.

Latest stories


Related Articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!
Continue on app