NASA will announce Friday morning the names of the first astronauts to fly to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner. The Demonstration Mission 1 flight test is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract. Experts believe that with the latest complications, the first uncrewed flight test will take place at the end of 2018 - the beginning in 2019 and the manned flight test will take place in mid-2019.
"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".
Although NASA has not yet said which astronauts will be assigned to these historic first flights, four astronauts have already been working closely with Boeing and SpaceX in the testing and development of their capsules.
The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action. However, on Friday NASA will announce at Johnson Space Center which craft the astronauts will launch in.
In June, the Crew Dragon capsule for SpaceX's uncrewed flight test, Demo-1, arrived at Plum Brook Station at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Ohio.
"I really have no visibility into SpaceX progress or the fidelity of the SpaceX schedule", he said.
"While we know there's quite a bit of interest and focus on who will fly first, NASA is more interested in both of them flying successfully", Stephanie Schierholz, a spokeswoman for the USA space agency, said Thursday.
Science has to be relevant to our daily lives Casey Dreier, the director of space policy at the Planetary Society, which lobbies for greater funding of space science and exploration, says most people see science in the context of how it affects our daily lives. SpaceX is targeting April 2019 for its crewed demonstration flight, Demo-2.
These flight tests will have similar configurations to the uncrewed tests, but the crew will have the ability to interface with spacecraft displays, communicate with mission control, and practice manual controls during flight.
The crews will begin training to get ready for their launch. Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is being outfitted at the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility on the Kennedy and the United Launch Alliance Atlas V dual engine Centaur that will launch Starliner will be shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in August to prepare for the upcoming flight. 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 already identified the problems, and "our team is off fixing those problems", Mulholland said.