The uncrewed Boeing Starliner spacecraft launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Friday from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a flight test to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Starliner did not reach the planned orbit and will not dock to the space station.
Teams worked quickly to ensure the spacecraft was in a stable orbit and preserved enough fuel for a landing opportunity.
Boeing, in coordination with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) and the US Army, is working to return Starliner to land in White Sands, New Mexico, on Sunday – December 22.
Nasa Administrator Jim Bridenstine, regarding the Boeing Orbital Flight test said, “I am incredibly proud of the Nasa, Boeing, and United Launch Alliance teams and their ongoing work in a dynamic situation to ensure the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is safe on its Orbital Flight Test. The teams continue their work to meet as many mission objectives as possible and return safely to Earth. We continue to gather critical data that will help us ensure safety and reliability for future human space flight missions.
“Early this morning, Nasa and Boeing successfully launched Starliner on the first human-rated United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida.
“The plan was for Starliner to rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station and return home safely to Earth. While a lot of things went right, the uncrewed spacecraft did not reach the planned orbit and will not dock to the International Space Station.”
It was Boeing Space’s uncrewed maiden voyage of the Starliner.