Starliner Completes Test Mission With Soft Landing

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Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule parachuted safely to Earth at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Wednesday afternoon, capping a mostly successful uncrewed test trip to the International Space Station. The capsule was back on the ground less than four hours after it detached from the ISS and carried garbage from the station and a mannequin named Rosie the Rocketeer.

Although the capsule completed the mission, there were some glitches, including a stuck docking mechanism that took two tries to work when it arrived. There were also some problems with thrusters and the cooling system but Boeing engineers were able to work through the snags. The reentry and landing on Wednesday were uneventful. The uncrewed trip was a do-over after a 2019 attempt went to the wrong orbit because of a software glitch. Last year, a launch was aborted due to the failure of several valves. The next trip will have astronauts aboard.

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