They're stuck in space on a leaking ship: what's happening in the Starliner capsule ?

Two astronauts embarked in Boeing's Starliner capsule have been stuck 400 kilometers from Earth for several weeks. Following a helium leak, NASA prefers to take precautions and postpones the return date.

A scenario that will make claustrophobics tremble. Two astronauts, Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore, are stuck aboard the capsule which is carrying out the first manned flight of Boeing's Starliner range since the beginning of June.

After a series of incidents, NASA prefers to ensure a safe return and has decided to extend the maximum duration of the flight from 45 to 90 days, indicates CNN.

Several incidents recorded

The capsule docked with the ISS (International Space Station) shortly after takeoff at the beginning of June.

The anomalies began with a failure of the thrusters during the first leg of the journey. Since then, four of the five devices have been repaired and only one thruster will remain non-functional for the rest of the mission, which does not prevent the capsule from moving. A little later, a < strong>helium leak has been reported.

As a reminder, this capsule encountered some problems during takeoff, which is why the latter was postponed twice.

No set date

For safety reasons and in order to better understand the origin of these anomalies, the ship will not return straight away. "We can bring Starliner back at any time", assures senior Boeing official Mark Nappi.

Before adding: "But we don't yet understand the anomalies well enough to correct them definitively. So the only way to achieve this is to take the time necessary to collect more data."

The two astronauts, Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore, will have to be patient. "We are in no hurry to go home", they assure.

They were able to join the astronauts already present on the ISS and are carrying out regular checks, in link with NASA. No firm return date has been announced at this time.

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