NASA astronauts voice confidence that Boeing Starliner will bring them home

The first two astronauts to fly Boeing's Starliner capsule said from the International Space Station on Wednesday they were confident in the spacecraft's ability to return them home whenever the company and NASA solve thruster issues that have kept them in space far longer than expected.

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WASHINGTON - The first two astronauts to fly Boeing's Starliner capsule said from the International Space Station on Wednesday they were confident in the spacecraft's ability to return them home whenever the company and NASA solve thruster issues that have kept them in space far longer than expected. "I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem," NASA astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams said during the test crew's first news conference since docking to the ISS more than a month ago. Williams and Barry "Butch" Wilmore, both veteran NASA astronauts and former U.

S. Navy test pilots, were launched aboard Starliner from Florida on June 5 and docked the next day at the ISS, where they were initially scheduled to spend roughly eight days. Several issues with Starliner's propulsion system have extended their mission indefinitely.



Five of Starliner's 28 maneuvering thrusters failed during its trek to the station, a propellant valve did not properly close and there have been five leaks of helium, which is used to pressurize the thrusters. "We're absolutely confident," Wilmore told reporters. "That mantra you've heard, failure is not an option.

" "And that's why we're staying, because we're going to test it. That's what we do," Wilmore said, acknowledging that an ongoing investigation by the U.S.

space agency and Boeing involving thruster tests on Earth is key for their return. The current test mission is Boeing's final step before the spacecra.