Astronauts arrive at the International Space Station aboard Boeing's Starliner spacecraft

Image of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft preparing to dock with the International Space Station for the first time this Thursday, June 6, 2024 (NASA via AP).

The first two astronauts were carried aboard StarlinerSpacecraft of the American aeronautical giant BoeingEntered on Thursday International Space Station (ISS)Although the delay was due to problems with the propulsion system.

“What a great place to be, it's great to be back here,” he laughed. Butch WilmoreUS space agency astronaut Pot.

Wilmore, 61, with Suni Williams58, performed like this His third visit to the ISS was during Starliner's first manned missionA huge challenge for the space agency and NASA.

Ten years ago, the US space agency ordered two new vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX to transport its astronauts to the ISS. While SpaceX has been operating as a space taxi for four years, Boeing's program is several years behind schedule.

After leaving Florida the previous day, The spacecraft made a soft approach to the ISS on Thursday, flying at an altitude of 400 km above Earth and traveling at a speed of about 28,000 km/h.

According to NASA, the docking occurred at 17:34 GMT, about an hour and 20 minutes after the initially scheduled time.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying two astronauts on board Boeing's Starliner-1 Crew Flight Test (CFT) launches to the International Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida on June 5, 2024 (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

The spacecraft failed to stop when it was less than 250 meters from reaching the ISS. It was not authorized to approach due to problems with its propellers.

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Five of these small boosters, out of a total of 28, failed at some point, a commentator explained during a NASA live broadcast. In the end, we were able to get four operations, giving us the number needed for surgery.

These thrusters are used to make small changes in the ship's course.

Initially, the docking was scheduled for 16:15 GMT.

Astronauts Wilmore and Williams have already joined the ISS aboard seven others and will spend about a week in the orbiting lab.before returning to Earth inside the Starliner.

Willmore and Williams have been preparing for this mission for years. A few hours before departure, they piloted the aircraft temporarily to test the ship's operation.

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Sunita Williams (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

“The accuracy is truly incredible,” Wilmore announced Wednesday, in a recording broadcast by Boeing. “More than a simulator.”

It lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in (southeast) Florida on Wednesday, after two previous attempts failed shortly after launch.

Starliner is the sixth American-built space shuttle to carry NASA astronauts.

This work has been anticipated and reflected upon for years A major challenge for Boeing and NASAThe company is seeking certification as a second commercial operator to transport its crew to the ISS.

However, the Aeronautical Corporation's project faced many years of delay and adversity.

SpaceX, owned by its rival Elon Musk, has played this role in traveling to the ISS for four years.

(AFP)

Misty Tate

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