Boeing’s Starliner can stay in space beyond the 45-day limit, NASA says

Boeing’s Starliner capsule is performing well enough on its first astronaut mission that it will likely be able to stay in orbit beyond the originally anticipated 45-day limit, NASA says.

Starliner, which launched on June 5, is docked at the International Space Station (ISS) with an indefinite mission extension. The spacecraft is in good condition and rated to leave the ISS in the event of an emergency. But both NASA and Boeing are trying to figure out why some of the Starliner’s reaction control system (RCS) thrusters experienced problems in the direction of docking with the ISS on June 6, and why some helium leaks have appeared in the capsule. As such, Starliner will remain in space until at least later this summer while testing and analysis continues. For example, a new round of propellant field tests will begin soon, possibly as early as today (July 2).

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