Will Starliner be launched despite the gas leak?

NASA first postponed the first manned test flight of the Starliner spacecraft, which was expected to take place on May 6, due to a faulty valve. After NASA and Boeing announced that the new launch date was May 17, it was also detected that there was a helium leak in the Starliner fuel system. During this process, engineering teams had to fix a helium leak in the spacecraft. But NASA and Boeing surprised everyone with their new move. Here are the details…

In the second of the unmanned test flights in recent years, Starliner broke new ground by landing on land instead of the ocean when it returned to Earth after visiting the International Space Station. Starliner, which became the first American capsule to land on land, was expected to make its first manned test flight for a while.

When a comprehensive investigation was launched to replace the problematic valve on the Starliner rocket, this time helium leakage also stood out. NASA recently held a press conference and announced that the helium leak is extremely slow. He also said the leak would not pose a danger to the spacecraft.

SpaceX's Starship rocket is ready for its 4th test flight: Where to watch?SpaceX's Starship rocket is ready for its 4th test flight: Where to watch?

SpaceX’s Starship rocket is ready for its 4th test flight: Where to watch?

The 4th test flight of the Starship rocket will also be broadcast live to the audience. So how will you watch it? Here are the details…

It was then announced that the first manned test flight of the Starliner spacecraft will take place at Cape Canaveral Space Force Base in Florida on June 1 at 12:25 (ET). Starliner will be launched aboard the Atlas V rocket, which will take NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Space Station (ISS).

If the launch date is not postponed again, Starliner will reach the International Space Station on June 2 and return to Earth on June 10. If there is a problem, it won’t just be another embarrassing mishap for Boeing’s troubled spacecraft. Since it is a manned test flight, the cost of any mishap may be higher.

Although an active helium leak is not ideal for the Boeing ship, NASA announced that engineers did the necessary due diligence by conducting the necessary inspection during these few weeks. In fact, some risks are taken in every launch, and NASA decided that this was within the limit.

SpaceX Dragon, which is considered more successful because helium is a small atom that is difficult to control completely, is also known to fly with small leaks from time to time. NASA’s Steve Stich stated that the problem was caused by the rubber gasket, which is about the size of a shirt button.

Barry "Butch" Wilmore and Sunita WilliamsBarry "Butch" Wilmore and Sunita Williams

NASA thinks that since the amount of helium escaping is quite small, it will not negatively affect the flight. Stich also explained that the leak could get 100 times worse during the flight. But it is still said that Starliner will not be in danger.

The team will examine the leak closely before launch to make sure the helium leak doesn’t get worse. NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita Williams were in quarantine throughout this process, waiting for news to return to the spacecraft. The duo will return to the Kennedy Space Center and hit the launch pad on May 30 before the launch attempt on June 1.

Do you think the launch will be postponed again?

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