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Boeing's Starliner spacecraft lands in New Mexico after cutting mission short

Boeing Co.'s Starliner spacecraft landed at a U.S. Army base in New Mexico on Dec. 22 after failing to dock at the International Space Station as intended, the aerospace company said.

The company said the Starliner is the first American orbital space capsule to land on American soil rather than an ocean. But the company also said that the vessel experienced a "mission timing anomaly" that caused it to use too much fuel to reach the space station. In response, flight controllers put the Starliner into a lower, stable orbit to return to earth. The capsule launched from Florida on Dec. 20.

The module will be returned to Florida for data retrieval, analysis and refurbishment for future missions, Boeing said. NASA is planning to use the vehicle to fly a group of four astronauts on their first operational mission.

The space mission setback comes shortly after the company said it was suspending production of its 737 MAX aircraft beginning January 2020. Airlines such as American Airlines Group Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. have grounded the planes on safety concerns.