1st Crewed Flights of Private Space Taxis Slip to 2019

Katie Ramirez
August 3, 2018

The first test flight with a crew on board is targeted for "mid-2019", NASA said. The spacecraft recently underwent thermal vacuum and acoustic testing at NASA's Plum Brook Station in Ohio.

He was a NASA scientist for 33 years.

An uncrewed flight test was not a NASA requirement for certifying these systems for human spaceflight. Space station officials from around the world gave the "go" on Thursday for Dragon's release from the orbital complex.

The crews will begin training to get ready for their launch.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.

Later in April, NASA trained Boeing and SpaceX teams to operate the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle created to help personnel escape the launch pad in the unlikely event of an emergency on launch day.

In June, astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel installed new cameras on the space station during a spacewalk.

NASA awarded both companies a combined US$6.8 billion in September 2014 to revive the US's ability to fly to the orbiting lab without buying seats on Russian Soyuz capsules - berths that cost about US$80 million apiece.

Each company's new ship could be test-launched (without any astronauts inside) by the end of the year. ULA is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Trump receives 'nice' new letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
A Kentucky soldier who went missing in 1950 during the Korean War has been identified by his remains. General Assembly meeting when world leaders gather in New York City.

"The resulting schedule that we have will support an uncrewed flight test in late 2018 or early 2019", Boeing vice president John Mulholland said. The company is now producing three Starliner spacecraft. Boeing's capsule is reusable up to 10 times with a six-month turnaround time, according to Starliner mechanical engineers. Mankind has discovered incredibly interesting things on Mars as well as other bodies within our Solar System, and new spacecraft are in development that will allow humans to travel faster and farther than ever before. The first test was set for 2017, but it was delayed to this end of summer (Boeing delaying it to the end of the year). Data collected from these tests continue to improve accuracy of computer models in predicting parachute performance and verifying reliability. "If NASA does not develop options for ensuring access to the ISS in the event of further Commercial Crew delays, it will not be able to ensure that the US policy goal and objective for the ISS will be met", the report argued.

In May, the White Room, which astronauts will walk through just before boarding Starliner, was installed on SLC-41.

The spacecraft is expected to bring along more than 3,800 pounds of cargo. In particular, it is noted that the test was carried out emergency rescue crew. For CST-100 Starliner, there will be one from NASA and one from Boeing. Astronauts and ground crews rehearsed zip lining from the launch tower to the ground and driving an MRAP to a triage site for medical attention.

Last month, news broke that Starliner's launch-abort engines cut off during a test fire's cool-down phase.

"I will be at NASA Johnson on August 3 to announce the astronauts assigned to the first crews launching on American-made spacecraft from American soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted on July 25.

SpaceX's spacesuit looks similar with a sleek look, except it's black and white. Tower modifications included l removal of the space shuttle era rotating service structure.

SpaceX carried out a pad abort test of its Crew Dragon vehicle in May 2015. The company now has six Crew Dragon modules in various stages of production and testing. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner will launch on its first uncrewed flight test on the ULA Atlas V rocket. "The systems will be operated in the actual environment to test it and ensure it's ready for crew".

"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.

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

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER