Update (0900ET): NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has officially reported (via Twitter) that the Boeing Starliner will be unable to reach the Space Station.
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
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On Friday morning, Boeing's Starliner spaceship was launched via an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The Starliner spaceship is designed to shuttle astronauts back and forth from Earth to the International Space Station (ISS). The test flight has no one on board and is being used to check out the flight systems.
HAPPENING NOW: Boeing launches Starliner spacecraft into orbit for first time. https://t.co/2wQYoAje1H— ABC News (@ABC) December 20, 2019
Shortly after launch, CNBC's Jodi Gralnick has just tweeted that Boeing's Starliner spaceship "is assessing an "off-nominal insertion," meaning the crew capsule did not achieve the proper orbit."
BREAKING NEWS: #Starliner flight team is assessing an “off-nominal insertion,” meaning the crew capsule did not achieve the proper orbit. Unclear what that means for its trip to ISS.— jodi gralnick (@jodigralnick) December 20, 2019
Starliner has an off-nominal insertion, but we have spacecraft control. The guidance and control team is assessing their next maneuver.— Boeing Space (@BoeingSpace) December 20, 2019
At the moment, it's unclear if this means the Starliner's trip to the ISS has been aborted.
Uh-oh: Problems with attitude preventing #Starliner orbit insertion burn so far.— Dr Marco Langbroek (@Marco_Langbroek) December 20, 2019
If they don't succeed solving this, Starliner will reenter with the Centaur south of Australia: pic.twitter.com/3AOhjFw9JS
NASA will be holding a press conference at 9 am est. on the developments.
How has social media responded to the incident?
Man Boeing sure is having one rough year. From 737 to SLS to Starliner.— Luis (@luismen1991) December 20, 2019
#starliner demonstrating 737 Max levels of reliability so far...— Chris (@ChrissTrains) December 20, 2019
From @BoeingSpace: ‘Starliner has an off-nominal insertion, but we have spacecraft control. The guidance and control team is assessing their next maneuver’. What did you expect? Remember 737 MAX? I am really frustrated.— E Burak (@arikaneb) December 20, 2019