NASA Launch of Crewed Spacecraft Delayed As SpaceX And Boeing Fails To Get Certification [Video]By Eleanor Bright, UniversityHerald Reporter
NASA 2017 launching of its manned spaceship to the international space station will not happen until 2019. Problems with design and construction caused the delay as NASArefused to give certification that the spaceship are safe for its human cargo..
For years, NASA has been sending astronauts to the space station via Russia's Soyuz. One seat costs more than $80million.
With the astronomical cost of sending astronauts to the international space station, the United States wanted to use its spacecraft to transport astronauts. Delay in the confirmation of the new spacecrafts prompted NASA to pay for Soyux seats up to 2018.
This means that if delays happen beyond 2019, the United States might be forced to stop sending astronauts to the space station. The Government Accountability Office suggested to NASA to design a contingency plan for such possibility, according to Washington Post.
In fact, the Government Accountability Office ordered NASA to make a contingency plan if ever the two spacecrafts remain uncertified in 2018. This implies that US might be forced to stop sending astronauts to the space station.
SpaceX and Boeing were private companies that NASA contracted to build the new spacecrafts. SpaceX was making upgrades on Dragon, its cargo capsule. This spacecraft has been taking supplies to the space station and it has o be redesigned to accommodate astronauts. Boeing has been developing the CST-100 Starliner, according to The Verge.
NASA needed to certify the two spacecrafts before they would be allowed to take passenger to the space station. However, SpaceX spacecraft developed cracks on its engine. NASA refused to certify it due to safety issues.
Delays resulted to huge losses on the part of the government. The US has invested millions to dollars to the project. NASA has to maximize return of investment and it has agreed to present a contingency plan on March 13