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Boeing’s Starliner back on Earth after historic mission

NASA announced the spacecraft successfully completed its mission Sunday and landing in White Sands, New Mexico.
Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)
The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft lands in White Sands, New Mexico, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. The landing completes an abbreviated Orbital Flight Test for the company that still meets several mission objectives for NASA’s Commercial Crew program. The Starliner spacecraft launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

WASHINGTON — Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner returned to Earth Sunday, landing safely in New Mexico. 

NASA said the spacecraft has completed the first touchdown on land "of a human-rated space capsule in U.S. history."

According to NASA the service module successfully separated from the crew module, which contains "Rosie the rocketeer." Rosie is an anthropometric test device meant to study measurements and proportions of the human body. NASA says its sensors will "provide teams on Earth valuable data for when crew members land in the Starliner." 

NASA live streamed the spacecraft's return to Earth and landing in White Sands, New Mexico.

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Boeing’s Starliner successfully made its landing back on Earth before dawn Sunday morning in New Mexico, settling "gently onto its air bags at 7:58 a.m. EST," NASA said. 

Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Boeing, NASA, and U.S. Army personnel work around the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft shortly after it landed in White Sands, New Mexico, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. The landing completes an abbreviated Orbital Flight Test for the company that still meets several mission objectives for NASA’s Commercial Crew program. The Starliner spacecraft launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

This successful test will prepare future crewed missions for landings at that same site. The craft deployed three main parachutes and six airbags to make the landing.