NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews

NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews

NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews

Due to some further testing required on Boeing's Starliner, it is likely SpaceX will to beat the aerospace giant in becoming the first private company to launch astronauts in an American-built space capsule.

Elon Musk's SpaceX is going to start putting people on its test flights in April next year, ahead of Boeing, NASA has revealed in a schedule published Thursday.

"We are confident we identified the root cause and are implementing corrective actions now", said vice president and program manager of Boeing's commercial crew program John Mulholland, indicating that "minor design changes" are under way.

After a month from the engine test issues, Boeing will have to delay the first two major test flights to the ISS of their future passenger spacecraft - The CST-100 Starliner.

"Both partners said they really wanted to have an uncrewed flight test to make sure the integrated rockets, spacecraft and re-entry systems are all working as created to be able to ensure the integrated system is functioning".

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To that effect, the space agency is getting ready to appoint the crew of the first manned missions to test the CST-100 Starliner (pictured left in the photo above) and the Crew Dragon (imaged right) capsules, NASA disclosed in a news release. According to the updated timeline, SpaceX will conduct a manned Crew Dragon flight in April 2019.

"I really have no visibility into SpaceX progress or the fidelity of the SpaceX schedule", he said.

Also, the most recent planet-hunting probe of NASA-the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)-has begun its hunt for new worlds around close by stars, as said by the US Space organization. Since the shuttle fleet's retirement in 2011, the only spaceship cleared for carrying people to the station has been Russia's Soyuz spacecraft, and the ticket price for NASA is in the range of $80 million a seat. "After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation missions". 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. Sometimes called the "Commercial Crew Cadre", those astronauts are seasoned veterans who've worked closely with Boeing and SpaceX on their new spacecraft and systems over the past three years. The spacecraft will dock and undock autonomously to the space station before flying their crew back to Earth.

Once the uncrewed flight tests are complete and the data reviews have validated the spacecraft systems, NASA astronauts will have their first opportunity to fly in the spacecraft. "They're verifying crew layout, doing simulations where they're actually practicing their maneuvers, and also checking out the software and the display systems, and everything else for the crew to be functioning safely in the spacecraft".

NASA robotics technologist Brian Roberts said, "When your vehicle stops working or runs out of gas, you don't leave it on the side of the road".

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