November 18, 2018

NASA Says Boeing, SpaceX Could Launch Astronauts Next Year

03 August 2018, 01:11 | Edward Lowe

NASA Says Boeing, SpaceX Could Launch Astronauts Next Year

Month NASA Will Be Declaring Crew Members For SpaceX And Boeing

The news, announced on NASA's Commercial Crew program blog, doesn't come as a surprise.

Although they are PPPs, the government provides the lion's share of the funding.

According to the space agency, the event will be presided by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who will name at least eight of the first astronauts designated to take the Starliner and Crew Dragon space pods for a spin "and begin a new era in American spaceflight". DM-2, Crew Dragon's first manned demonstration flight, is still now scheduled for December 2018, as reported by the Inquisitr.

Boeing test pilot Chris Ferguson, who commanded NASA's last space shuttle mission in 2011, appears to be a sure thing for the first Starliner crew, based on advance reports.

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The NASA statement did not disclose reasons for either company's delays, and SpaceX did not respond to questions about its revised schedule.

Mulholland said the company partnered with NASA for an investigation into the failure. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on the status of the commercial crew program in January at which GAO's Cristina Chaplain presented those results based on earlier analysis.

"We believe the earliest time we can confidently do that will be in mid-2019 after flying an uncrewed flight test late this year or early next year".

Part of Boeing's delay arose from a propellant leak in June during a launch-abort engine test in New Mexico. His remarks were widely reported and Boeing spokeswoman Rebecca Regan confirmed the news via email to For Crew Dragon, both will be NASA astronauts.

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Boeing continues to manufacture its Starliner spacecraft inside NASA Kennedy Space Center's Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility in Florida.

On the right, the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that will be used for the company's uncrewed flight test, known as Demonstration Mission 1, arrived to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 10, 2018. Four NASA astronauts were selected in 2015 for training.

Dreier said it's unlikely Congress would reverse itself one year later and cut the NASA science programs, especially as the Republican-controlled chamber is seeking to pass a budget with minimal partisan fighting over relatively small expenditures.

At the same time, rival company SpaceX is still on track for the August launch of DM-1, the unmanned demonstration mission of its Crew Dragon capsule, note the sources. Nominally, two astronauts will be on each test flight. That might mean two NASA astronauts plus Boeing's (Chris Ferguson, a former NASA astronaut).

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In March, SpaceX performed two parachute tests, the company's 14th and 15th overall parachute test supporting Crew Dragon development in the Mojave Desert in Southern California.

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