NASA Moving Forward With SpaceX and Boeing Crewed Capsules This Year

Federico Mansilla
Enero 13, 2018

NASA has not been able to launch people into space since the space shuttle was retired in 2011. The company is already is planning to fly its first manned mission before the end of the year, while Boeing has yet to announce an anticipated date for its initial manned or unmanned flights. Once operational, these commercial crew systems will return the United States to an era when "American astronauts are launched on American rockets from American soil" as the program's advocates often say. Then, SpaceX's Dragon will usher two NASA astronauts to orbit from Kennedy Space Center in December, a few months behind the original test schedule.

After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation missions. It must rely on Russia to ferry crews back and forth to the ISS on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

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However, a new report from NASA's watchdog, the Aerospace Safety and Advisory Panel (ASAP), has raised a few red flags about the program, including whether or not either SpaceX or Boeing will be able to meet the stipulated statistical limit of no more than one possible fatal accident per 270 flights and appropriately protect their capsules from collision damage caused by space debris.

NASA last reported the schedule on October 5, 2017.

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