(ORDO NEWS) — Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner landed safely in New Mexico on May 25, completing a six-day uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station and setting the stage for the spacecraft’s first human flight.
The Starliner undocked from the International Space Station at 21:36 Moscow time. After a minute-long firing of the four orbital maneuvering engines at 00:05 UTC, the crew capsule undocked from the service module and entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
The capsule deployed two pilot chutes and then three main parachutes, dropping the heat shield to inflate the air sacs used to cushion the landing. The spacecraft landed at 00:49 UTC at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.
The landing, which NASA and Boeing immediately recognized as a success, completed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) 2 almost exactly six days after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft docked at the station just over 24 hours after launch.
“It was a perfect landing,” Steve Stich, NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager, said at a post-landing briefing. “The systems on the ship are working perfectly, and once we have processed all the data, we will be ready to fly the crew on this ship.”
“On a scale of 1 to 10,” he said when asked to rate the OFT-2 mission, “I think I’d give it a 15. It was incredible.”
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