July 16, 2024

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NASA says Boeing’s Starliner could stay in space for longer than 45 days

NASA says Boeing’s Starliner could stay in space for longer than 45 days

Boeing’s Starliner capsule is performing well enough on its first-ever space mission that it will likely be able to stay in orbit beyond the initially anticipated maximum of 45 days, NASA said.

Starliner launched on June 5 and is now docked to the International Space Station on an indefinite mission. The spacecraft is in good condition and is rated to leave the ISS in an emergency. But NASA and Boeing are trying to understand why some of Starliner’s reaction control system (RCS) thrusters experienced problems in the run-up to docking with the ISS on June 6, and why several helium leaks have appeared in the capsule. As such, Starliner will remain in space until at least later in the summer as testing and analysis continue. For example, a new round of engine testing on the ground will begin soon, possibly as early as today (July 2).