Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft must wait to make its triumphant journey to house.
Immediately (July 29), officers at NASA and Boeing introduced that Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Check 2 (OFT-2) mission for its Starliner astronaut taxi will likely be delayed from Friday (July 30) to a future date that has but to be decided. This delay follows a mishap with Russia’s Nauka module, which docked with the Worldwide House Station this morning.
“NASA and Boeing have determined to face down from Friday’s launch try of the company’s Orbital Flight Check-2 mission,” NASA wrote in a statement. “Presently, launch groups are assessing the subsequent accessible alternative. The transfer permits the Worldwide House Station workforce time to proceed working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos’ Nauka module and to make sure the station will likely be prepared for Starliner’s arrival.”
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This morning, the Russian House Company Roscosmos‘ Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), had a bumpy experience to the orbiting lab earlier than it efficiently docked at 9:29 a.m. EDT (1329 GMT). Also referred to as “Nauka” (“Science” in Russian), the brand new phase launched July 21 and will likely be Russia’s main analysis module on the International Space Station.
As soon as it lastly docked, issues did not get a lot smoother. Simply over three hours after docking, house station cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov ready to open the hatch between Nauka and the Russian Zvezda module the place the pair have been ready.
However because the cosmonauts ready to open the hatch between the modules, Nauka’s thrusters fired “inavertently and unexpectedly,” NASA spokesperson Rob Navias mentioned throughout a reside broadcast of the docking on NASA TV. This moved the station 45 levels out of perspective, NASA shared on Twitter.
“The crew is just not in any hazard, by no means was in any hazard and perspective management has been regained,” Navias mentioned throughout the reside broadcast after the house station regained its place.
After the orbiting lab was again in place, the groups managing Nauka labored to stop any followup unplanned thruster firing.
Nevertheless, whereas company officers have assured the security of the seven astronauts on board station, the crew on board did shut the house station’s protecting shutters throughout that point. They’ve since opened the shutters again up.
The difficulty with Nauka hasn’t been the one bother going through Starliner’s July 30 deliberate launch date as thunderstorms have plagued the launch website in Florida all week. July 30, mission groups estimated a 50% chance of good weather, a difficult chance.
“Starliner is prepared,” NASA tweeted after asserting Starliner’s delay Thursday. “The transfer permits the @Space_Station workforce time to proceed working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos’ Nauka module and to make sure the station will likely be prepared for Starliner’s arrival.”
Starliner is Boeing’s crew spacecraft designed to ferry astronauts to and from the house station. Like SpaceX with its Crew Dragon automobile, Boeing’s Starliner was created with funding and assist from NASA’s Business Crew Program.
OFT-2 comes after OFT-1, the craft’s first tried uncrewed check flight, suffered anomalies that prevented it from rendezvousing with the house station in December 2019. Following an in-depth investigation by a joint Boeing-NASA workforce, Boeing has addressed all points with the automobile.
Following the profitable completion of the OFT-2 mission, Boeing plans to start launching operational crewed missions aboard Starliner to the Worldwide House Station as SpaceX has finished with its Crew Dragon automobile throughout its Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions.
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