The Starliner is scheduled to return to Earth on December 28 after delivering cargo to the ISS.
The Starliner is expected to enter Earth's atmosphere early Sunday, travelling from the south, over the Baja peninsula and Texas at 25 times the speed of sound before settling down at the United States army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. According to NASA, the capsule is "in a stable configuration" but will not be making its planned trip to the International Space Station.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that, "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".
What happened: An Atlas V rocket safely carried Starliner into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday, but the capsule had an anomaly with its internal system timer.
But a half-hour into the flight, Boeing reported that the capsule didn't get into the right orbit to reach the space station.
"We did obviously have some challenges today".
The timing error made the capsule fire its engines at the wrong time, using up fuel. Nasa and Boeing tried to manually correct the automated errors, but mission control commands sent across Nasa's satellite communications network were inexplicably delayed.
SpaceX also is looking to start launching astronauts for NASA, perhaps by spring.
While the Starliner is a passenger spacecraft, created to shuttle people to and from space, Friday's flight was an unmanned mission to the ISS. "We don't have any safety concerns". This data will help teams back on Earth to determine what human astronauts might experience during their flights to ensure that the future Starliner crews have safe flights to and from space.
In November, a blistering government watchdog report found Boeing received an "unnecessary" contract boost from NASA.
It awarded $ 4.2 billion to Boeing and $ 2.5 billion to SpaceX in 2014 to develop separate capsule systems capable of transporting astronauts to the space station from US land for the first time since NASA's space shuttle program It ended in 2011.
SpaceX declined to comment on the Boeing launch result on Friday. He's assigned to the first crew, along with two NASA astronauts.