NASA’s Spacecraft Reach the ISS Despite Thruster Failures

| Updated on June 7, 2024

On June 6, the Boeing Starliner spacecraft docked successfully with the International Space Station for its first mission carrying astronauts. The clock on Earth indicated 1:34 pm EDT at the time of impact, following a truster-caused delay. 

NASA Spacecraft

According to reports, the thrusters initially malfunctioned, causing a delay in the space flight. Fortunately, only 5 out of 28 thrusters failed, and mission control managed to fix four of them, allowing the starliner to successfully align with the ISS window.

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will spend a week on board. Their arrival was marked by some zero-gravity “dancing” and a bell ringing from the current crew of the International Space Station.

In order for Starliner to carry astronauts to the International Space Station on prolonged missions, a certificate is required. Now that this flight has encountered multiple development problems, it is imperative that NASA address them to avert a potential space disaster. 

After years of development and problems, including thruster malfunctions and helium leaks found during the mission, this flight finally takes place. In 2014, NASA gave contracts to SpaceX and Boeing to develop crew transport vehicles. Since 2020, SpaceX has been running its Crew Dragon.

Charu Thakur