Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner space taxi made a flawless automated landing in New Mexico today, marking the end of an orbital test flight that was cut short due to a glitch with the craft’s timing system.
Because of the glitch, NASA and Boeing had to forgo Starliner’s planned trip to the International Space Station. But the uncrewed transport notched a first in space history nevertheless by becoming the first crew-capable U.S. space capsule to make its return from orbit on land.
The spacecraft also got its christening from NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, who is scheduled to fly on the craft after its refurbishment.
“A little homage to other explorers and the ships that they rode on,” Williams said during a NASA webcast. “I think we’re going to call her Calypso.”