SpaceX Promises NASA Manned Commercial Flight Test for April 2019

NASA recently announced the names of team members who will conduct the first manned tests of the new SpaceX and Boeing space capsules. The structures should be explored when launching commercial flights to the International Space Station (ISS) in the Commercial Crew Program. After some delay, the Elon Musk space company now announces experimental astronaut flights for April 2019.

Forecast is more optimistic than the latest US government estimate

SpaceX and Boeing have been working to certify their spacecraft for years. Boeing recently suffered a setback with its CST-100 Starliner capsule after the capsule hydrazine engines leaked in the burn test. The company says it has fixed the problem, but it will need further analysis - and this has caused, say, a lengthening of the schedule.

The ratings with Dragon 2 from SpaceX were better. CEO Elon Musk and COO Gwynne Shotwell have ensured that the schedule continues to be met to the letter and an unmanned flight to the ISS is scheduled for November this year, as the crew is confirmed for April 2019.

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This information actually goes against the latest US government forecast. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released in July an unheard analysis of Boeing or SpaceX manned flights in 2019. Both Dragon 2 and CST-100 Starliner were estimated to be ready by August 2020 only.

NASA wants to speed up flights because it could be without ISS access in 2019

Anyway, the news comes at a good time for NASA, which is looking forward to using the Commercial Crew Program. Since the end of the Space Shuttle program on July 8, 2011, Americans have relied on purchased seats on Soyuz rocket-powered Russian ships - costing $ 80 million a trip to the ISS.

NASA's last purchase of Soyuz vehicles is scheduled for late 2019 and it bets on SpaceX and Boeing projects to continue its space exploration plans for years to come. Delays beyond next season could mean precious time for the US space agency's calendar.