NASA astronauts speak out about Boeing's leaky Starliner spacecraft

The two NASA astronauts who were transported to the International Space Station by the leaky Boeing Starliner spacecraft have spoken out.

1 minute & 37 seconds read time

At the end of last month Boeing's Starliner transported two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), and it was discovered both prior and during the launch the Starliner spacecraft was leaking.

NASA astronauts speak out about Boeing's leaky Starliner spacecraft 651651651

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams were safely transported to the floating laboratory, and then it was later discovered Starliner had accrued more leaks throughout its voyage. NASA quickly launched an investigation into the space vessel and assured the public that Wilmore and Willians weren't in any way pressed for time to get back to Earth as the ISS had plenty of supplies for a prolonged stay.

What was more concerning was NASA's announcement on June 21 that it doesn't currently have any plans for a Starliner return journey. Now, NASA writes in a July 10 blog post that it's still working with Boeing to increase an understanding of Starliner's propulsion system before both of the NASA astronauts make the return journey home. These tests are being conducted on the ground at the agency's White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.

As for Wilmore and Williams, the two NASA astronauts reported that the flight up to the ISS on the first day was perfect, but it became worse on the second day. According to the conference, the Starliner's thrusters started to degrade in performance and handling qualities. Despite the downgrade in overall performance due to the leaks, the NASA astronauts still said Starliner was "impressive".

The docking sequence was used as an example of how Starliner still performed adequately, with the NASA astronaut explaining Starliner has a margin of "five degrees in attitude and about four inches in position". However, the ship "came right down in automatic mode at this point, and right down the middle even with the degraded thrusters."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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