Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft will close its landmark test flight to the International Space Station under NASA this week with a touchdown in New Mexico on Wednesday evening, if all runs according to an agenda.
Starliner appeared at the International Space Station on Friday, May 20, a day after launching on Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2), an uncrewed shakeout expedition formulated to show that the tablet is ready to start carrying astronauts to and from the station for NASA.
Boeing and NASA had told that Starliner would remain shut with the orbiting lab for four to five days. “This afternoon on May 23, we got some firm departure information: The capsule is scheduled to depart the ISS Wednesday at 2:36 p.m. EDT (1836 GMT), with a landing occurring at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico at 6:49 p.m. EDT (2249 GMT) that same day.”
Starliner had declined at White Sands Space Harbour once before, in December 2019, a landing that closed Boeing’s actual OFT mission. Starliner underwent a series of glitches on that flight and was incapable of meeting up with the ISS, expecting the capsule to fly OFT-2 as a makeup flight.
NASA and Boeing had observed five potential landing locations for Starliner on OFT-2, two of them were within the White Sands Missile Range, and The others existed at Willcox Playa in southeastern Arizona, I.e., the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah and Edwards Air Force Base in California.