Boeing: Astronaut capsule abort test ‘successful’ despite parachute flop

in Space Coast News & Events


Boeing says it had a successful pad abort test Monday of its astronaut capsule in New Mexico despite one of three parachutes not deploying.

The company conducted the test at White Sands Missile Range as part of the process to certify Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to carry astronauts as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

An uncrewed Starliner capsule fired all four launch abort engines lifting off from the test stand just after 9:15 a.m., demonstrating the ability to shuttle astronauts away to safety in event of a launch failure.

The spacecraft flew nearly a mile in just under 20 seconds before deploying its forward heat shield and parachutes. The crew capsule slowly descended into the desert under two parachutes. A third parachute should have also deployed. Boeing officials said in a statement engineers are working to determine why it did not.