Boeing’s new Starliner space capsule had a turbulent first test flight Friday morning.
Taking off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the Starliner — powered by the company’s Atlas V rocket — went off its planned orbital trajectory about 30 minutes into its flight, The Associated Press reports.
According to Boeing, the Starliner was supposed to dock at the International Space Station (ISS) Saturday, but the capsule wasn’t able to get into the position required to make it to the ISS.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that because of going off course the Starliner was burning more fuel than expected.
Because #Starliner believed it was in an orbital insertion burn (or that the burn was complete), the dead bands were reduced and the spacecraft burned more fuel than anticipated to maintain precise control. This precluded @Space_Station rendezvous.
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) December 20, 2019
“Safe and stable is the important thing right now,” Boeing spokeswoman Kelly Kaplan told reporters.