” Boeing Co’s Starliner astronaut spacecraft landed in the New Mexico desert on Sunday, the company said, after faulty software forced officials to cut short an unmanned mission aimed at taking it to the International Space Station.
The landing at 7:58 a.m. ET (1258 GMT) in the White Sands desert capped a turbulent 48 hours for Boeing’s botched milestone test of an astronaut capsule that is designed to help NASA regain its human spaceflight capabilities.
” “We hit the bull’s-eye,” a Boeing spokesman said on a livestream of the landing…
” The Starliner capsule was successfully launched from Florida on Friday, but an automated timer error prevented it from attaining the right orbit to meet and dock with the space station. That failure came as Boeing sought an engineering and public relations victory in a year that has seen corporate crisis over the grounding of its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes of the aircraft.
I watched live coverage of the portion of this adventure that was intended to include docking with the space station. Initial response by commentators may have oversimplified the “error” that made the linkup impossible. Essentially, someone gave the Starliner the wrong time zone for rendezvous with the ISS. Not the first time for an error like this. Might not be the last, either.