'A Lot of Things Went Right,' NASA Chief Says After Starliner Anomaly
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully launched Boeing's reusable spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, on its first orbital test flight mission just before sunrise this morning (Dec. 20). However, the capsule suffered an anomaly about 15 minutes after liftoff, which prevented it from continuing its mission to the International Space Station, Space.com reports.
"Today, a lot of things went right," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at a post-launch news conference at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, following the anomaly. "This is, in fact, why we test. Just a few minutes ago, I got off the phone with the Vice President. I gave him a briefing on where we are. He maintains that he is very positive, as the chairman of the National Space Council, in our ability to once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil."
This uncrewed mission, called the Orbital Flight Test (OFT), was designed to be a "dry run" for future crewed Starliner missions. It has not yet been decided, following this anomaly, what testing will happen next with Starliner, Bridenstine said.