CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Boeing’s new Starliner capsule went off course after launch Friday and won’t dock with the International Space Station during its first test flight.
It was supposed to be a crucial dress rehearsal for next year’s inaugural launch with astronauts.
The blastoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, went flawlessly as the Atlas V rocket lifted off with the Starliner capsule. But a half-hour into the flight, Boeing reported that the capsule didn’t get into the right orbit to reach the space station. The capsule is still in space and will be brought back to Earth, landing in New Mexico as early as Sunday.
Boeing is one of two companies hired by NASA to lunch astronauts from the U.S. The space agency has been relying on Russian rockets to travel to the space station since the retirement of the space shuttle almost nine years ago.