Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, which is being developed in conjunction with NASA for crewed spaceflight operations, safely returned to earth on Sunday after mission control had to abort its resupply mission to the International Space Station. According to reports, the spacecraft’s internal clock was improperly set, and as a result, the ship entered into the wrong orbit, making it all but impossible for it to safely reach the ISS. It seems that the error caused the Starliner to expend more fuel than was needed, according to NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“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,” he added in a subsequent tweet. “This precluded @Space_Station rendezvous.”

The Starliner’s mission was to deliver a resupply to the crew currently aboard the International Space Station, including food, clothing and holiday present. This means that this high profile failure has ruined more than Boeing’s Christmas: it’s also ruined the holidays for the six crew members currently serving aboard the ISS, including Flight Engineer Christina Koch from Michigan, Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan from West Virginia, and Flight Engineer Jessica Meir from Maine — however, Meir doesn’t seem to be letting this setback affect her Hannukkah spirit, as she recently shared this image of her socks from 250 miles above the Earth’s surface.


“We started the clock at the wrong time,” Jim Chilton, a senior vice president for Boeing, said on Saturday. “As a result of starting the clock at the wrong time, the spacecraft upon reaching space thought she was later in the mission and, being autonomous, started to behave that way.”

The Starliner mission was also meant to ferry a test dummy — dubbed “Rosie the Rocketeer” after Rosie the Riveter of World War II fame — up to the ISS. The dummy was meant to provide valuable data, from within the crew compartment, that NASA and Boeing intended to use as they continue preparations for crewed launches next year.