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Friday, January 22, 2021

Boeing marks 'bull's-eye' landing after timer glitch

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Boeing marks 'bull's-eye' landing after timer glitch
Boeing marks 'bull's-eye' landing after timer glitch

Boeing celebrated a successful ending to a crewless test mission that two days earlier failed to reach the orbit needed to dock with the International Space Station.

Chris Dignam has more.

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) NASA, SAYING: "All six airbags are confirmed to have deployed." Boeing's Starliner astronaut spacecraft landed in White Sands New Mexico on Sunday.

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) NASA, SAYING: "Starliner touches down in the desert in New Mexico." The early morning landing caps a turbulent 48 hours for Boeing, after faulty software forced officials to cut short the unmanned mission aimed at taking an astronaut capsule to the International Space Station.

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) NASA ADMINISTRATOR JIM BRIDENSTINE, SAYING: "You look at the landing, it was an absolute bulls-eye." While an automated timer error prevented Starliner from attaining the right orbit to dock with the space station - its core objective - representatives from both NASA and Boeing said there was still plenty to cheer.

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) NASA ADMINISTRATOR JIM BRIDENSTINE, SAYING: "I can tell you this morning, we're all very excited that a whole lot more things did go right.

Went very, very well, as a matter of fact.

In fact, you could argue that some of the hardest parts of this mission have now been proven to be very, very capable.

And so that's all positive.

The failure to dock with the space station came as Boeing sought an engineering and public relations victory, amid a corporate crisis over the grounding of its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes of the aircraft.

(SOUND BITE) (English) BOEING SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF SPACE AND LAUNCH JIM CHILTON SAYING: "And another subjective observation I'd say that we find very encouraging at Boeing is the vessel looks great.

There's hardly any charring, perfectly level on our airbags.

And that bodes really well for usability, not having a lot to do." Boeing is competing with billionaire Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX to revive NASA’s human spaceflight capabilities.

SpaceX carried out a successful unmanned flight of its Crew Dragon capsule to the space station in March.

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