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Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft lands safely in New Mexico after aborted ascent: NASA

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Washington DC [USA], Dec 22 (Sputnik/ANI): Boeing’s new Starliner spacecraft has returned to Earth on Sunday, landing at a designated site in New Mexico north of El Paso, after it failed to dock with the International Space Station, according to NASA.”Starliner hit the bull’s eye. It landed exactly where it was supposed to,” a NASA commentator said in a broadcast from the NASA mission control centre in Houston.Starliner was launched on December 20 atop Atlas-5 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida. However, due to a timing mistake, it failed to get into the planned orbit and lacked the fuel to reach the ISS.The landing followed a deorbit burn at 7:23 am (ET), separation of the craft’s service module and deployment of its three main parachutes and six airbags.The US space agency has confirmed the landing, saying the uncrewed astronaut capsule touched safely at the White Sands missile range at 7:58 am (ET).”This marks the first time an American-made, human-rated capsule has landed on land,” the agency tweeted.NASA published a video of the crew module after it lost its heat shield descending softly to the ground on the parachutes and settling on the sand. A NASA commentator said it was “in very good shape.”NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated the space agency and Boeing teams on the successful landing. Landing recovery teams have been sent out to the site.A NASA video showed the first arrivals getting the first look at the capsule and probing the atmosphere around the craft for possible toxicity.The capsule will be taken to Florida to be refurbished and used again up to ten times.The NASA commentator said that a craft does not keep that reusability after a splashdown in water. (Sputnik/ANI)

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