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Boeing's Starliner making its way back to Earth. Photo: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner — a capsule designed to one day bring humans to orbit — is back on Earth after the uncrewed spacecraft failed in its bid to dock with the International Space Station.

Why it matters: The Starliner was originally expected to bring its first crew to the space station for NASA in early 2020, but this mission's problems may call that timeline into question.

Details: According to Boeing, the landing appeared to go smoothly on Sunday morning, with a good touchdown in White Sands, New Mexico.

  • The landing comes days earlier than expected, however, after Starliner burned more fuel than planned just after launch on Friday due to a problem with its onboard automated clock.
  • That issue led mission managers to call off the capsule's docking attempt with the station, opting instead to bring the spacecraft back to Earth early.

Between the lines: According to Boeing and NASA, the mission wasn't a total failure even though docking didn't occur.

  • Flight controllers still ran Starliner through its paces in orbit and during landing to gather key data about how the spacecraft will behave when people are eventually put on board.

The big picture: NASA hopes to use Boeing's Starliner and a complementary system SpaceX is developing to start launching NASA astronauts from U.S. soil again, ending the agency's reliance on Russia's Soyuz capsule and rocket for human space launches.

Go deeper: Boeing's Starliner won't reach space station after malfunction

Go deeper

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Report: Pentagon watchdog finds Ronny Jackson drank on duty and harassed staff

Rep. Ronny Jackson walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) allegedly made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female staffer, drank alcohol and took sleeping medication while working as White House physician, according to an official report obtained by CNN Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The Department of Defense inspector general's report stems from a years-long investigation. Jackson has called the allegations "false and fabricated."

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.