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Space & Astronomy

Boeing Starliner capsule fails to reach ISS

By T.K. Randall
December 22, 2019 · Comment icon 11 comments

Starliner after landing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Image Credit: NASA
Boeing's reusable crew vehicle had aimed to dock with the station this week but things didn't go quite to plan.
Similar to Lockheed Martin's Orion capsule, the Boeing CST-100 Starliner is designed to carry astronauts up into space as part of ongoing efforts to end NASA's reliance on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for its crew transportation needs.

Starliner launched on its maiden unmanned flight on Friday morning with the intention of rendez-vousing with the station to demonstrate its docking capabilities, however a timing error meant that it ended up in the wrong orbit and was no longer able to reach its target.

After spending just 48 hours circling the Earth, the capsule returned for a successful touchdown at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico earlier today.
Despite the technical issues however, the future is looking bright for Starliner.

"It was an absolute bullseye, better than I think anybody anticipated," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said of the landing.

"That's good for the agency, it's good for Boeing; that's good for the United States of America."

It will likely be a good few months however before the capsule can launch again.

Source: | Comments (11)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
The latest update from NASA:  
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
NASA is currently holding a news conference. They have said that the Starliner will not be able to reach the ISS as planned. It will raise it's orbit later today and will attempt a landing at White Sands, New Mexico on Sunday,
Comment icon #4 Posted by toast 5 years ago
Comment icon #5 Posted by Champagne Supernova 5 years ago
..and we went to the moon in 1969......
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
And your point is?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Rolci 5 years ago
They cannot execute a simple docking in 2019? That's hilarious at best. I'm sure they had much better technology at their disposal half a century ago so they could achieve all those things with their eyes closed.
Comment icon #8 Posted by InconceivableThoughts 5 years ago
Are you comparing the usa in 1969 to a private company in 2020 using different tech?
Comment icon #9 Posted by and then 5 years ago
Anything that is man-made can have flaws and be less than perfect.  Remember the events surrounding Apollo 13?  These private companies, on the whole, are doing amazing work.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
Well Boeing didn't look good this year... 737 max huge fail, 767 tanker mishaps and grounded due to tools and debris left everywhere during construction, 777 pressurization fail, capsule fail to reach ISS... Outch, they need to sort their s*** fast !
Comment icon #11 Posted by Desertrat56 5 years ago
It is the first launch of this type of vehicle so yeah, maybe there are some bugs to work out.

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