Boeing on Monday morning declared successful its test of the emergency abort system for the spacecraft it’s developing to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, even though only two of the three main parachutes deployed.
The test, at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, was a long-anticipated milestone for a company that has been under fire for two fatal plane crashes that killed 346 people.
The test of the system was intended to demonstrate that the Starliner spacecraft could carry astronauts to safety in case something were to go wrong with the rocket.
Sitting on a test stand, the capsule fired its abort engines at 9:15am Eastern, sending the capsule hurtling through the air to more than 4,000 feet.
The capsule was to hit 650 mph in five seconds. While one of its main parachutes appeared to malfunction, two deployed and the spacecraft landed safely in the desert about a little over a minute later.