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Liftoff for a smooth landing! Well, kind of. NASA and Boeing have announced a slight delay in the return of the Starliner crew capsule from the International Sp

Starliner's Return to Earth Delayed Until June 18th

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Image credit: ANIRUDH

Liftoff for a smooth landing! Well, kind of. NASA and Boeing have announced a slight delay in the return of the Starliner crew capsule from the International Space Station (ISS). Originally planned for this past Friday, the splashdown (or desert touchdown, depending on weather) is now targeting June 18th.

Why the Wait?

Mission managers are taking a cautious approach, citing the need for additional checks on the spacecraft. Here's what's behind the delay:

  • Technical Tweaks: Engineers are addressing minor issues identified with certain Starliner components. These checks are crucial to ensure a safe and successful return trip for the astronaut crew.
  • Weather Watch: Landing in the desert or at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico depends on favorable weather conditions on June 18th. This adds another factor to the scheduling equation.
  • Space Station Shuffle: The busy schedule aboard the ISS also plays a role. Mission managers need to coordinate Starliner's undocking with spacewalks by other astronauts to avoid any conflicts.

Looking Ahead:

While the wait is slightly longer, this delay prioritizes safety and mission success. The new target date of June 18th gives teams more time for final preparations and ensures a smooth homecoming for the Starliner crew. Stay tuned for further updates as the mission progresses!

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