Saturday, July 13, 2024

Sunita Williams, Butch Wilmore still in space but ‘confident’ of safe return to Earth. What have they been doing on ISS?

Must Read


Starliner commander Butch Wilmore and pilot Sunita Williams said they learnt a lot during their overstay at the International Space Station and are confident of coming back safely to Earth. The two astronauts, who travelled to space on Boeing’s new Starliner on June 5, shared an update from the space station on Wednesday.

Sunita Williams said it was a test flight and they were expecting some finding which could be used to improve the next flight. Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams blasted off on June 5. Their return from space was pushed back because of thruster malfunctions and helium leaks that came to light during the journey. 

It is not yet ascertained as when they will come back home. But before Wilmore and Williams return, ground teams need to run more testing to better understand the root causes of some of the technical issues Starliner experienced.

‘Confident of safe comeback’

“We’re absolutely confident,” Wilmore said Wednesday. He said the two astronauts tested a “Safe Haven procedure,” sheltering inside Starliner in the event they needed to suddenly undock from the ISS. The test went well.

He said everything is in place “as what we know now”. He said the team is doing “thruster testing”

Meanwhile, Williams said, “I have a real good feeling in my heart that the spacecraft will bring us home, no problem.” She said, “We have practiced a lot! We are learning now how to optimize our specific situation and make sure that we know everything about it.”

“We’ve been through a lot of simulations…and I think where we are right now…I feel confident that if we had to, if there was a problem with the International Space Station, we could get in our spacecraft, we could undock, talk to our team and figure out the best way to come home,” Williams added.

The Starliner spacecraft on NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s forward port as the International Space Station orbited 262 miles above Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. Photo credit

View Full Image

The Starliner spacecraft on NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s forward port as the International Space Station orbited 262 miles above Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. Photo credit (NASA)

‘ISS a great place to live’

About their stay at the International Space Station, Wilmore said, “It’s a great place to be, a great place to live and a great place to work.” He also shared details about their first few days on the mission.

The launch was spectacular, it’s been truly amazing and then we got into our operational capabilities checks, and the spacecraft performed unbelievably well,” Wilmore said.

He said as they moved into Day 2 “we lost one RCS jet (reaction control system) and then we lost another one and then you can tell the thrust, the control and the capability was degraded…”

“But thankfully, we had practiced and got certified in manual controls. We took over manual controls for over an hour…the teams on the ground did troubleshooting and we got a couple of jets back, and from that point on, you can tell that the thrust was degraded — at the time we did not know why…but it was still impressive,” Wilmore said.

‘It was a test flight, were expecting to find some things’

Meanwhile, Sunita Williams reiterated that this was a test flight and they were expecting to find some things. “We are correcting it and making some changes and making updates with our control teams…,” she added. She said there were suggestions on what could be added on for the next flight.

The astronauts also tested Starliner as a “safe haven” vehicle in case of problems aboard the station, and checked out how its life support performs when four people are inside.

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore prepare orbital plumbing hardware for installation inside the International Space Station’s bathroom, also known as the waste and hygiene compartment, located in the Tranquility module.

View Full Image

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore prepare orbital plumbing hardware for installation inside the International Space Station’s bathroom, also known as the waste and hygiene compartment, located in the Tranquility module. (Photo credit: NASA)

Sunita Williams said they still had a lot of checks for Starliner, and they all went very well. “One of them was practicing for safe haven, to make sure that we have all the emergency equipment hat laid out and we need to have to get into or spacecraft and use it as a safe haven – in case something happens to the space station,” she said.

 

Williams said there were tests to make sure that the spacecraft had the capability to support four people. “So we are really satisfied with putting more people in the spacecraft once we get back and work through all the issues we have found already.”

3.6 Crore Indians visited in a single day choosing us as India’s undisputed platform for General Election Results. Explore the latest updates here!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.

More
Less

Published: 10 Jul 2024, 11:06 PM IST

- Advertisement -spot_img

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest News

Carbon Capture: Government to devise policy framework for carbon capture, utilisation and storage | India News

NEW DELHI: Govt will soon come out with a policy framework to implement carbon capture, utilisation and storage...
- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -spot_img