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Engine flaw delays Boeing test of crew capsule to 2019

Engine flaw delays Boeing test of crew capsule to 2019

NASA is making crew assignments now for the Boeing Crew Flight Test and SpaceX Demo-2 to support flight training as we return to launching our astronauts from American soil.

Tomorrow, NASA will announce the chosen crew for the first Commercial Crew flights and probably add more information on Boeing's and SpaceX flights. As a partner approaches its target readiness date, NASA will work with the company and the Eastern Range to identify launch dates within the busy International Space Station schedule to ensure science investigations, as well as logistics activities and critical operations continue while these new spacecraft are tested. These high-definition cameras will provide NASA with an enhanced look of Boeing and SpaceX's capsules as they approach and dock to the station.

SpaceX designed its Crew Dragon spacecraft to launch atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The first flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon is expected in April 2019, following an unmanned test in November, NASA said.

Elon Musk's SpaceX is going to start putting people on its test flights in April next year, ahead of Boeing, NASA has revealed in a schedule published Thursday.

During the manned tests, the astronauts will be able to use the displays inside the spacecraft, communicate with mission control and practise manual controls during flight. The Obama Administration initiated a "commercial crew" program similar to commercial cargo with the goal of having two systems in operation by 2015, a four-year gap in the USA ability to launch people into space. A July 11 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office noted that NASA's internal projections offered a "zero percent chance" the companies would be certified for routine ISS missions in early 2019, as official schedules at the time expected.

Boeing has pushed back the launch test of its astronaut capsule for another six months, according to CNBC.

"To meet NASA's requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station", NASA said in its blog posting.

"It's very exciting getting more people in space". If history is any guide, the crews taking the spotlight on Friday will have even more time to train.

In March, SpaceX performed two parachute tests, the company's 14th and 15th overall parachute test supporting Crew Dragon development in the Mojave Desert in Southern California.

According to the space agency, the event will be presided by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who will name at least eight of the first astronauts designated to take the Starliner and Crew Dragon space pods for a spin "and begin a new era in American spaceflight". The first flights were scheduled for 2018.

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