Boeing's Starliner spacecraft successfully landed in a desert area in New Mexico on the 22nd. However, the unmanned test flight itself failed, failing to connect to the International Space Station.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which aims to revive its manned spacecraft, commissioned the development to SpaceX, led by Boeing and Elon Musk. Space X successfully completed an unmanned test flight of the spacecraft Crew Dragon in March.
The starliner was launched from Florida on Tuesday, but failed to reach the required orbit to connect to the International Space Station due to a malfunctioning time management system. Jim Chilton, head of Boeing's space division, said the fuel in the system was burning too quickly because the timer in the system was running for 11 hours.
However, Boeing and NASA officials voiced relief at the successful landing using the parachute and airbag.
"It was the best today," Chilton told reporters on Tuesday. He noted that plans for a manned Starliner flight in 2020 require experts to analyze the data from the unmanned flight in the coming weeks to determine if it is feasible.
This is the first time a US-made capsule spacecraft intended for manned flight has landed on the ground.
All past spacecraft, including the crew dragon in Space X, have landed on the sea. Meanwhile, Russian Soyuz spacecraft and Chinese past manned spacecraft have landed on the ground.
The retired US Space Shuttle glide and land like a large airplane.