Boeing launched the CST-100 Starliner on the International Space Station (ISS) but failed to achieve the required trajectory, according to Reuters.
CST-100 Starliner has been successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. However, the automatic timer error prevented the spacecraft from reaching the orbit it needed to go in the right direction and landed on the ISS, the US Space Agency (NASA) announced on December 20.
Graphic of Boeing CST-100 Starliner - (Image: BOEING)
NASA director Jim Bridenstine announced that despite being stable, the ship had burned too much fuel to risk landing on the ISS. When the problem was discovered, NASA and Boeing tried to overcome it by turning to manual control. But the orders to execute orders transferred through NASA's satellite system were mysteriously slow.
The current plan is to bring CST-100 Starliner back to Earth on December 22, a week earlier than originally expected. Boeing's space program executive Jim Chilton said the ship would land at White Sands, New Mexico.
Boeing executives say they are still looking for ways to identify the cause of the problem.
Earlier, observers assessed the launch of the Starliner as a milestone for Boeing in the space technology race. Boeing's direct competitor is SpaceX, the private spacecraft company of tech billionaire Elon Musk. SpaceX successfully launched the Crew Dragon on ISS in March 2019.
Boeing experienced the latest failure in the midst of dealing with the crisis of 737 MAX. After two consecutive plane crashes in late 2018 and early 2019, Boeing 737 MAX was banned from flying around the world.
According to Reuters, Boeing's need to restart the drone test will delay NASA's schedule and raise costs.