(NEWSnet) – The Starliner spacecraft, currently docked at the International Space Station, is facing another delay with its return flight home; with no date yet determined.

On the schedule announced earlier this week by NASA, the Boeing Starliner was expected to undock from the ISS “no earlier than” 10:10 p.m. Eastern time June 25; with a flight plan that has a landing time about 4:51 a.m. Eastern time June 26. This was a postponement from the original return date of June 18 that was then postponed to June 22.

And the plans have changed yet again.

NASA has since announced that a return date will be determined after two spacewalks that are set for June 24 and July 2. There are enough supplies aboard the space station to accommodate the extended stay, the agency said June 21.

“We are taking our time and following our standard mission management team process,” said Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The touchdown plan includes Starliner using parachutes to land in the desert of White Sands. NASA and Boeing crew will then meet up with the spaceship and its astronaut pair.

NASA’s Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams are on this first astronaut-crewed flight of Starliner to the space station. Their tasks included testing the spacecraft systems and some assignments on the ISS.

The launch with Wilmore and Williams happened June 5; they docked with the space station port on June 6.

During the flight up, NASA said, mission teams identified three helium leaks in the spacecraft; only one of which was known about ahead of time. Technical adjustments were made. Then as Starliner approached the ISS, five reaction control system thrusters failed. Four of those devices were re-enabled in flight while the astronauts manually piloted the spacecraft.

NASA’s long-range plan for Starliner includes having it handle a six-month docked mission at the space station.

Follow NEWSnet on Facebook and X platform to get our headlines in your social feeds.

Copyright 2024 NEWSnet. All rights reserved.