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HomeLatest NewsNasa's Boeing Starliner carrying Sunita Williams lifts-off after multiple delays

Nasa’s Boeing Starliner carrying Sunita Williams lifts-off after multiple delays



NEW DELHI: Boeing has finally launched astronauts Sunita Williams and Butch Williams to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard their Starliner capsule on Wednesday.
The launch was from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, with the mission expected to last approximately one week.
Wilmore and Williams are set to test Starliner, including manual control during the journey to the ISS.During their stay, they will conduct more tests to evaluate if the spacecraft can serve as a safe haven during emergencies on the ISS.
The mission will conclude with Starliner’s re-entry into the atmosphere and a parachute and airbag-assisted landing in the western United States.
The previous attempt on Saturday was halted with less than four minutes left in the countdown due to the ground launch computer entering an automatic hold. The issue was traced to a faulty power supply, which has since been replaced.
A separate issue with a valve on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket caused another delay on May 6, just hours before launch.
Wilmore and Sunits Williams were ready to go on both occasions but had to return to quarantine after the scrubs.
The Starliner program has faced years of delays and safety concerns.
Nasa is looking to certify Boeing as a second commercial crew transport provider to the ISS, a role that SpaceX has been fulfilling for four years.
Both Boeing and SpaceX received multibillion-dollar contracts in 2014 to develop crew capsules following the end of the Space Shuttle program, which left the US reliant on Russian rockets. Despite Boeing’s century-long history, its program has lagged behind.
While fixing the faulty rocket valve from the previous attempt, a small helium leak was found in one of Starliner’s thrusters. Rather than dismantle the spacecraft to replace the seal, Nasa and Boeing decided it was safe enough to proceed.
Setbacks for Boeing have included a software bug that sent the spaceship off course during its first uncrewed test and the discovery of flammable electrical tape in the cabin after the second test.
(With inputs from agencies)





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