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What is the extent of being stranded for two NASA astronauts stuck on the ISS? | Science & Tech News

NASA Astronauts Address Media During Extended Stay on International Space Station

NASA astronauts Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore and pilot Sunita “Suni” Williams have been stuck on the International Space Station (ISS) for over a month due to issues with their spacecraft, the Boeing Starliner. Originally planned to stay for only eight days, the astronauts have now been in orbit indefinitely as they await a solution to the propulsion system problems.

The experienced astronauts remain hopeful that they will be able to return to Earth safely, with Williams expressing a “really good feeling in my heart” that the spacecraft will bring them home without any issues. NASA and Boeing are working together to address the Starliner’s thruster issues, which have delayed the astronauts’ return.

During their unexpected extended stay on the ISS, the astronauts had to take shelter in the spacecraft when a Russian satellite exploded nearby. Despite the challenges, both Wilmore and Williams remain optimistic and trust in the testing procedures being conducted to ensure a successful return mission.

Boeing insists that the astronauts are not in any danger and that there is no increased risk in bringing them back to Earth. The Starliner is equipped with backup systems that can support up to 45 days docked on the ISS, with a possible extension to 72 days if needed.

If necessary, the astronauts have the option to return to Earth with other crews currently on the ISS, such as Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft or SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Capsule. While the situation is not ideal, the astronauts are not considered to be in a dire situation, according to Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program manager, Mark Nappi.

The delays and challenges faced by the Starliner program highlight the complexities of space travel and the importance of thorough testing and preparation. Despite the setbacks, the astronauts remain resilient and focused on a successful return mission to Earth.

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