Boeing Starliner, with Huntsville roots, returns from Space Station

Uncrewed flight tested system before crewed flights begin

Boeing’s Starliner lands at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Boeing.

A reusable spacecraft designed by Boeing in Huntsville successfully completed the final phase of its orbital flight test on Wednesday evening.

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner landed at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico after its launch last Thursday from Cape Canaveral at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center and docking autonomously with the International Space Station.

It launched atop an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance, which has a heavy presence in Decatur.

The test was to demonstrate the quality and performance of the system prior to crewed flights.

The Starliner is the first American-made, orbital capsule designed to land on land using a parachute and airbag system.

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Boeing’s Design Center in Huntsville provided the structural design for the Starliner, while its Phantom Works division, which also has an operation in Huntsville, provided the power systems for the capsule.

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