Boeing Starliner Capsule Successfully Returns to Earth

    Photo: AP [via the New York Post]

    The Facts

    • On Wed., Boeing's crew taxi returned to Earth from the International Space Station. The Starliner capsule parachuted into the New Mexico desert just four hours after leaving the ISS, bringing a mannequin back to the Earth's surface.

    • The uncrewed capsule completed a six-day mission to the ISS. The successful mission is a key step for NASA's Commercial Crew Program - which is an initiative for private companies to bring NASA astronauts into Low Earth Orbit.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    A few years ago, it seemed to be a given that Boeing - the world's largest aerospace company and a titan of global aviation - would dominate in the commercial space field. Instead, SpaceX disrupted the industry and beat them to the launchpad. Boeing now risks being stuck in a catch-up limbo amid its worsening reputation.

    Narrative B

    This is an exciting development for both Boeing and NASA. The do-over test is off to a successful start, and Boeing is catching up to SpaceX. A second transportation option for NASA provides competition, innovation, and flexibility. It also means it won't have to rely on Russian spacecraft.

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