Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft completed the primary land touchdown of a human-rated capsule in U.S. history Sunday at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, wrapping up the company’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Starliner settled gently onto its airbags at 7:58 a.m. EST (5:58 a.m. MST) during a pre-dawn landing that helps set the stage for future crewed landings at an equivalent site. The landing followed a deorbit burn at 7:23 a.m., separation of the spacecraft’s service module, and successful deployment of its three main parachutes and 6 airbags.
“Congratulations to the NASA and Boeing teams on a bullseye landing of the Starliner. the toughest parts of this orbital flight test were successful,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “This is why we conduct these tests, to find out and improve our systems. the knowledge gained from this first mission of Starliner are going to be critical in our efforts to strengthen NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and return America’s human spaceflight capability.”
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