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Starliner: commercial missions still far away

Underlying problems hinder the start of routine journeys into the cosmos

The recent space flight of the Starliner spacecraft produced by the US Boeing Group was a success. In fact, the capsule docked with the International Space Station last week. However, some underlying problems remain and they currently hinder the launch of routine missions into the cosmos on a scheduled and timely basis. This is the objective of American society, but today it is still a distant prospect.

For the moment this is "a fundamental step, because if they can't successfully transport humans into space and bring them back to Earth safely, then they haven't demonstrated anything about how to conduct a mission", explained Patricia Sanders, former president of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

During the 24-hour journey to the International Space Station, the Starliner spacecraft suffered four helium leaks and five onboard thrusters shut down, delaying docking with the International Space Station. In short, it will take time before Boeing can undermine the SpaceX company on private space travels. Meanwhile, the crew, made up of test pilots Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, could return to Earth as early as June 14 or stay there for up to 45 days, NASA officials said.

On the subject, see also the article published by AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency