First SpaceX mission with astronauts set for June next year

  • First SpaceX mission with astronauts set for June next year

First SpaceX mission with astronauts set for June next year

Both companies had postponed the launches for a few times, but on Thursday, NASA said that they would update the public each month on any changes in the deadline.

"This new process for reporting our schedule is better; nevertheless, launch dates will still have some uncertainty, and we anticipate they may change as we get closer to launch", said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA Headquarters. "These are new spacecraft, and the engineering teams have a lot of work to do before the systems will be ready to fly", he added.

Both missions are considering tests.

Under the terms of the CCtCap contract, both companies must fulfill one unmanned and one manned flight with a duration of two weeks within the trial.

After the missions are successful, NASA will use both companies to take astronauts to the orbiting lab in regular missions that last nearly six months.

If launched successfully, it will become the first manned United States launch to the orbiting research laboratory since the after the space shuttle program was retired in the year 2011, resulting in the U.S. astronauts to take up costly rides aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft. It is the first crewed mission by the USA since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.

In 2014, Boeing and SpaceX were awarded a combined $6.8 billion in contracts from NASA to develop spacecraft capable of flying crews to the space station. SpaceX is targeting June and Boeing, August.

The report mentioned that as per the most recent timeline, Boeing's Starliner was scheduled to take flight for the first time without a crew in August 2018.

The crewed flights will succeed uncrewed missions. NASA, in its statement explained the transfer flight a little differently, linking it with the work schedule of the global space station. The first post-certification Cockpit flight is scheduled for December 2019. NASA said this week that the first commercial test flights have slipped from late this year into next. The crews will be using new lighter spacesuits developed by SpaceX and Boeing.