Boeing’s Capsule Successfully Lands After Mission Test Fail
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner astronaut spacecraft made a “bull’s-eye” landing at the White Sands desert in New Mexico on Sunday, marking a much-needed victory for the corporation after a tumultuous test mission on Friday. The crewless astronaut capsule—designed to help NASA regain its human spaceflight capabilities—launched from Florida on Friday and failed to attain the orbit needed to dock with the International Space Station due to a software problem. The mishap was the latest in a turbulent year for Boeing, which has been under intense scrutiny over its 373 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes of the plane. “Today it couldn’t really have gone any better,” Boeing space chief executive Jim Chilton told reporters on Sunday, in reference to the company’s milestone test. Chilton also said that experts would need to analyze the data from this mission before Boeing could decide whether to proceed with its plan for 2020 to send a crewed mission on the Starliner. NASA and Boeing officials are reportedly investigating the cause of the Friday failure and noted that tests before the launch gave no indication that any problems would occur.