Dec 15, 2016 10:02 AM EST
SpaceX Dragon Capsule's First Crewed Flight For NASA Postponed
SpaceX has postponed the first crewed mission for its Dragon capsule. The flight has been scheduled for 2018.
The Verge reported that SpaceX has officially delayed the first crewed flight of its Dragon capsule. The vehicle is intended to be used to take NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
Initially, the flight was expected to happen late next year. However, the mission has been postponed to May 2018.
According to a blog post from NASA's official website, SpaceX is scheduled to have a demonstration on Nov. 2017. This will be an uncrewed flight test prior to sending the crew to ISS.
Boeing is also set to have two demonstrations for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Its first schedule will be on Jun. 2018, which is uncrewed, is deemed as the Boeing Orbital Flight Test. The second demonstration for Boeing will be two months after its first mission, on Aug. 2018.
NASA's Commercial Crew Program aims to send astronauts to the ISS and return them safely to Earth. It also aims to provide reliable, cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems that comply with its safety and mission requirements.
SpaceX and Boeing, the top commercial providers of spacecraft and rockets, must prove that their systems are ready to safely send humans to the space station. After the uncrewed flight tests, the companies will be doing a flight test with crew before they can get certification by NASA for crew rotation mission.
According to Yahoo News, SpaceX will be using a variant of the Dragon spacecraft. It is named Crew Dragon.
It was also noted that Dragon has already made a lot of missions to the ISS. The spacecraft is used to deliver supplies as well as bring back research data.
It was previously reported that SpaceX will be having a relaunch of its Falcon 9 rocket next month. This comes after it exploded during a test launch on Sep. 1.
SpaceX has announced that launching is expected to begin in early January. However, Elon Musk's company still does not have a license from the Federal Aviation Association.
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