Has SpaceX Aced Boeing in Space Race?

03 August, 2018, 16:27 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews

The first test flights for new spacecraft designed by commercial companies in collaboration with NASA to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station from the United States are known as Demo-1 for SpaceX and Orbital Flight Test for Boeing. After that, the companies will become eligible for many years' and billions of dollars' worth of future NASA missions. SpaceX and Boeing have been developing their own reusable astronaut taxis for years, under multibillion-dollar NASA commercial crew contracts. SpaceX has a target date of November 2018 for its uncrewed flight and April 2019 for its crewed test. Boeing's schedule is considerably vaguer: uncrewed test, "late 2018/early 2019"; crewed test, "mid-2019".

The test flights and missions aboard Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft, slated for as early as April 2019, will "begin a new era in America spaceflight", the US space agency said. Each will demonstrate their spacecraft in an uncrewed and then a crewed test flight.

Eight NASA astronauts will be assigned to initial test flights and the following missions to the International Space station.

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action. On the right, NASA astronauts conduct a fully-suited exercise in Boeing's CST-100 Starliner mock-up trainer in early May at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Boeing continues to manufacture its Starliner spacecraft inside NASA Kennedy Space Center's Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility in Florida. The two front-runners to emerge were SpaceX and Boeing. However, Boeing announced Wednesday a delay for its first crewed launch.

NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews

Most people view space issues through a prism of relevance to one's daily life, said Casey Dreier, director of space policy at the Planetary Society, which lobbies for greater funding of space science and exploration.

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. In this simulation, DOD pararescue specialists jumped from military aircraft, parachuted to the water, and simulated stabilizing the Crew Dragon capsule and safely removing astronauts from the spacecraft.

Boeing has since identified the problem he said, and is working to fix it.

Mulholland added that he has no "visibility into SpaceX progress or the fidelity of the SpaceX schedule", and that they only focus on making "sure we do everything we can to ensure a safe vehicle and meeting the schedule parameters that I've laid out".

Boeing has also rearranged its test program, pushing back a pad abort test that was scheduled for this summer, before both the uncrewed and crewed test flights, to spring 2019, after the uncrewed flight.




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