They are definitely stuck up there, Boeing.

Space Boondoggle

Two astronauts who traveled on Boeing’s Starliner are still stuck at the International Space Station due to issues with the reusable capsule. But Boeing insists that “the astronauts are not stranded,” the Associated Press reports.

That’s an amusing statement because it flies against the straight facts of the matter: astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams were supposed to go home on the Boeing Starliner on June 14, but their return trip has been pushed back repeatedly due to technical issues that have popped up with the troubled craft.

These problems include issues docking with the station and the vessel experiencing numerous helium leaks.

NASA spokespeople said during a press conference last week that personnel are busy analyzing the issues. Once that’s finished, NASA and Boeing will decide on a departure date for the two astronauts — but when that might happen is still anyone’s guess.

“So far, we don’t see any scenario where Starliner is not going to be able to bring Butch and Suni home,” NASA commercial crew program manager Steve Stich said at a press conference last week.

Happy Landing

The Starliner is meant to augment the capabilities of Elon Musk’s SpaceX in bringing astronauts back and forth from the space station. NASA awarded $4.2 billion to Boeing to develop Starliner.

This voyage to the space station was the Starliner’s first trip to space with a crew. During the years leading up to the maiden voyage, the Starliner was beset with delays due to a host of technical issues.

The Starliner imbroglio comes amid Boeing’s recent struggles with its airplanes, which have had doors blown out during flights and even a whistleblower found dead. Critics say there is an overall quality control problem within the company.

While the airplane issues aren’t directly related to the Starliner problems, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Boeing is in the grips of a deep crisis.

More on Boeing’s Starliner: Boeing’s Cursed Starliner Seems to Be Stuck on the Space Station Indefinitely