Boeing Starliner capsule lands on Earth

(Reuters) – A new Boeing Starliner capsule landed in New Mexico on Wednesday after its first unmanned flight to the International Space Station (ISS), completing a high-stakes spacecraft test flight.

Less than a week after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the CST-100 Starliner capsule re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Wednesday evening before landing over New Mexico’s White Sands Desert. He landed at the scheduled time, at 22:49 GMT.

The approximately five-hour return flight from the ISS, which orbits about 400 km above Earth, was the latest leg of this test flight after a failed attempt in 2019 due to software glitches.

This latest test flight allows the Starliner, whose development has been marred by delays and technical setbacks, to take a major step towards providing NASA with a reliable second means of transporting astronauts to and from the space station.

The capsule was launched into orbit last Thursday by an Atlas V rocket provided by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Its main goal, rendezvous with the ISS, was achieved despite the failure of four engines along the way.

(Report by Steve Gorman and Joey Roulette; French version by Camille Raynaud)

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