WHITE SANDS, N.M. (KRQE) – After six days in space, Boeing’s Starliner capsule made a successful landing at the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico Wednesday. The conclusion of the test mission marks a milestone for Boeing, as it seeks to provide a second fully-functional system for NASA to fly crewed missions to and from the space station.

NASA reported a successful landing in a Tweet Wednesday, with photos showing all three of the spacecraft’s parachutes deployed, along with airbags at the base of the capsule. An American made capsule, Boeing’s Starliner remained crewless on this second test flight.

Following retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle program in 2011, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is currently the United States’ only option for carrying humans to space. If Boeing’s Starliner makes it into service, it will serve as a second fully functional option for taking crew and cargo to space.

Boeing’s capsule returned to Earth from the International Space Station with 600 pounds of cargo, including a Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System with reusable tanks that can be filled with breathable air for station crew members. Boeing designed and built the Starliner, in part, with the ability carry seven passengers, or a mix of crew and cargo, for missions to low-Earth orbit.


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According to the U.S. Army, this is the second landing of the Starliner spacecraft on White Sands, following the first in December 2019. A video feed of the landing can be seen on NASA’s YouTube page.

This map shows the projected flight path for the re-entry of the Boeing Starliner capsule, which is expected to touchdown at the White Sands Missile Range Wednesday before 7 p.m. EDT (Image Courtesy: International Space Station)