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Boeing working on next steps after aborted Starliner mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Engineers are working to determine what's next for Boeing's Starliner spacecraft after it returned to Earth following a failed mission to the International Space Station.

During a news conference on Sunday, Jim Chilton, who is Boeing’s Senior Vice President of space and launch division, said it will be about two weeks until all the data is able to be analyzed.

“We’ll take the ship back to Florida. It’s about a ten-day transit. So, we’ll really have all the data at the end,” Chilton said.

The capsule landed in White Sands, New Mexico after its mission was cut down to only two days in space.

On Friday, an internal clock malfunction 30 minutes after liftoff caused the spacecraft to go into the wrong orbit, which meant it couldn't dock with the ISS.

After Sunday's landing, it's unclear how Boeing's plan to send a crewed mission to space will be affected, but NASA officials said it may not be a big setback for the private company.

"To me there's good data out there to suggest once we go through it, maybe it's acceptable to go next step [and] fly the crewed flight test, but we have to go through the data first," NASA Commercial Crew Program Deputy Manager Steve Stich said.

While the capsule didn't fulfill its entire mission, leaders at Boeing said they still have confidence in Starliner, which met most of its test flight objectives.

“If I was going to infer how that data was going to come out, from cabin temps and how pristine the vehicle looks, I’d say we’re probably in the 85 to 90 percent range of our test objectives,” Chilton said.


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