Boeing, SpaceX human spaceflight postponed to 2019

Boeing, SpaceX human spaceflight postponed to 2019

The Starliner and Crew Dragon will launch American astronauts on American-made spacecraft from American soil to the International Space Station for the first time since NASA retired its Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Since then, astronauts have relied on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to transport them to and from the orbiting space station.

A few months ago, both companies had hoped to start flying people by the end of this year. If something goes wrong at any point during a Crew Dragon flight, these engines can fire up and carry the spacecraft and its passengers to safety.

It became known that in the first spaceship Boeing has said it.

NASA says it did not request such tests, but both companies volunteered to conduct them anyway.

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner, on the other hand, will likely perform two crucial test flights next year, instead of this year as planned.

NASA's Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems created to carry crews safely to and from low-Earth orbit.

An artist's impression of Boeing's CST-100 "Starliner" spacecraft in low-Earth orbit, on the way to the International Space Station.

The NASA statement did not disclose reasons for either company's delays, and SpaceX did not respond to questions about its revised schedule. NASA also said SpaceX will launch an uncrewed flight test in November, with Boeing not expected to do that until late in 2018 or in the early part of next year.

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SpaceX said it would fly crews by April. Four more NASA astronauts, as well as a Boeing astronaut, will be announced Friday.

Numerous team members leading the unique public-private partnership believe the agency is on the cusp of something life changing with its Commercial Crew Program.

"And NASA will be the anchor tenant", said scientist in residence John Charles at Space Center Houston.

Crew Dragon is also outfitted with an emergency escape system, which consists of eight SuperDraco engines built into the capsule's walls.

■ PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem), a mission to monitor the planet's ocean health, which has not yet launched. Separately, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft for Demo-1 arrived to the Cape in July for final processing. Two companies are vying to replace the Russians with a USA spacecraft: Boeing Co.

"After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation missions", NASA communications specialist Stephanie Martin wrote in a blog post. Crew for Boeing's Crew Flight Test and SpaceX's Demo-2 flights will each include at least a flight commander and pilot aboard to test out the systems.

Among the options being considered by NASA is to use the crewed flight test as a crew rotation flight by adding a third astronaut to the mission and extending its stay from two weeks to as long as six months. That resulted in a leak of toxic hypergolic propellant, but no damage to the hardware and no injuries to the test team, he said. Those engines are created to power up if the launch rocket suffers a mishap and would eject the Starliner crew capsule to a safe distance.

"I see parallels between commercial crew and the early aviation industry, when government nurtured that commercial innovation", said Cowart.

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