After the Boeing (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report Starliner spacecraft's troubled mission into space over the weekend, the unmanned craft landed successfully in the New Mexico desert on Sunday morning.
"Touchdown! The BoeingSpace Starliner spacecraft touched down at 7:58am ET at WSMissileRange in New Mexico. This marks the 1st time an American-made, human-rated capsule has landed on land," posted NASA on Twitter early in the morning.
During a press conference later on Sunday, officials from both NASA and Boeing lamented that the voyage failed to go as planned -- missing is scheduled Space Station docking -- but praised the information gained and opportunities for exploration ahead.
"Make no mistake, this did not go according to plan in every way that we would hope," said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. But, Bridenstine said, the "NASA team and the Boeing team came together to do some amazing work ... it gives us a lot of great data to keep moving forward."
After a successful launch on Friday from Florida when the Atlas V rocket projected the Boeing test spacecraft into orbit, the Starliner had also detached from the rocket as planned. But, then, the CST-100 Starliner failed to reach the right orbit, preventing it from making it to the International Space Station, in a major setback for the mission -- and a poorly timed PR blunder for Boeing.
The problem was reportedly due to a clock timing error that led to a chain-reaction of misses for the voyage.
"Though Starliner did not reach the planned orbit or dock to the space station as planned, Boeing still was able to complete a number of test objectives. Teams from NASA, Boeing and ULA worked quickly to ensure the spacecraft was in a stable orbit and preserved enough fuel for multiple landing opportunities," said NASA in a statement over the weekend.
In addition, the spacecraft remained "safe," said Boeing over the weekend.
“We don’t see anything wrong with this spacecraft,”said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing’s Space and Launch Division, during the Sunday press conference.
The news came following another week of bad headlines back on the planet earth, related to Boeing's 737 MAX jets.