Two NASA astronauts are stuck on the ISS – how stranded are they? | Science & Tech News

We are an affiliate

Newsatw.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Two astronauts who have been stuck on the International Space Station (ISS) for over a month are talking to reporters for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.

Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore and pilot Sunita “Suni” Williams blasted off on 5 June in Starliner’s first mission to orbit carrying the astronauts.

After docking on the ISS, the NASA astronauts were supposed to stay in orbit for eight days.

However, Boeing’s Starliner has been plagued by problems and its return to Earth has been repeatedly delayed.

During their extended stay on the ISS, the astronauts have been forced to take shelter in the spacecraft when a Russian satellite exploded nearby.

However, if they needed to evacuate, Starliner may have struggled to get away from the space station.

The spacecraft’s propulsion system is faulty, which is how it backs the capsule away from the ISS and positions itself to dive through Earth’s atmosphere.

Many of Starliner’s thrusters have overheated when fired and leaks of helium, used to pressurise the thrusters, appear to be connected to how frequently they are used, according to NASA’s commercial crew manager Steve Stich.

Suni Williams (front left) and Butch Wilmore (front right) pose with fellow astronauts as they enter the ISS on 6 June. Credit: NASA TV
Image:
Suni Williams (front left) and Butch Wilmore (front right) as they entered the ISS. Pic: NASA TV


How stuck are they?

Boeing insists the astronauts are “not stuck” and says “there’s no increased risk when we decide to bring Suni and Butch back to Earth,” according to Mark Nappi, manager of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner is able to spend 45 days docked on the ISS, or up to 72 days at a push, relying on backup systems.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch Boeing’s Starliner crewed launch

If the astronauts still couldn’t use it to come back to Earth, they could hitch a lift with other crews up there.

Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft is due to take three people back to Earth in September and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Capsule should return in August.

Butch and Suni aren’t in “any danger”, according to Mr Nappi and also aren’t even very stuck by space station standards.

Read more from Sky News:
Most complete dinosaur fossil in a century discovered
Nearby exoplanet ‘stinks of rotten eggs’
Arsenic, lead and other toxic metals found in tampons

Last year, NASA’s Frank Rubio landed back on Earth after the longest continuous spaceflight by an American, spending a whopping 371 days in orbit.

His return was delayed for six months because of a coolant leak on his spacecraft.

Between 1994 and 1995, Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov spent a record-breaking 437 days on the Russian-owned Mir space station, although he always intended to be up there for a long time.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

Starliner delays

Starliner’s problems come after years of delays and failed launches.

In 2014, NASA asked both SpaceX and Boeing to develop commercial crew capsules, but while SpaceX successfully started shuttling astronauts in 2020, this trip was Boeing’s first crewed launch.

Boeing’s losses on the Starliner programme are believed to be around $1.5bn (£1.2bn).


Source link

See also  G7 agrees $50bn loan for Ukraine from frozen Russian assets

Check Also

Boy, 14, dies from ‘brain-swelling’ virus in India, 60 others classed as ‘high risk’ | World News

We are an affiliateNewsatw.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an …

Leave a Reply

Available for Amazon Prime
Anwendungsbereich sodasan sport u. Wäsche im winter draußen trocknen – darauf musst du achten.