Boeing capsule docks with ISS despite glitches

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore, left, and Suni Williams (Photo:AP)

Boeing’s new capsule arrived at the International Space Station Thursday, delayed by last-minute thruster trouble that almost derailed the docking for this first test flight with astronauts.
The Starliner capsule already had one small helium leak when it rocketed into orbit with two Nasa astronauts — Butch Wilmore and Sunita Williams — Wednesday. Boeing and Nasa managers were confident they could manage the propulsion system despite the problem and that more leaks were unlikely.But just hours into the flight, two more leaks cropped up. Later, four of the capsule’s 28 thrusters went down. The pilots managed to restart three of them, providing enough safety margin to proceed. It was not known whether the thrusters issue was tied to the leaks. Helium is used to pressurise fuel lines of the thrusters, essential for maneuovering.


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