In February, SpaceX blasted Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster into space from a Falcon Heavy rocket. It will use an Atlas V rocket, but before sending a manned crew, it must first conduct an uncrewed and a crewed flight test and see if the capsule is safe to use on multiple trips to the station.
The space agency also confirmed Boeing's plan to put off its first crewed space taxi mission until mid-2019, and geared up to announce who'd be on the first space taxi flights for SpaceX's Crew Dragon as well as Boeing's Starliner. Both dates are later than the companies had been targeting.
NASA is due to live-stream the announcement from Johnson Space Center in Texas at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) Friday, with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine presiding.
NASA is now ready to announce who are the first astronauts for the flights of SpaceX and Boeing's commercial spaceships. It's possible neither company will be ready to fly astronauts until August 2020, the GAO said in its report.More news: Paris Jackson Denies Rehab Claims Following Demi Lovato's Overdose
"After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation missions", NASA communications specialist Stephanie Martin wrote in a blog post.
"I'm excited to be part of the future of space travel", said Jon Cowart, acting deputy manager for the Commercial Crew Program's Mission Management and Integration office at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA has declined to say whether it has discussed additional Soyuz spots with Russian officials. More experience in space. "The agency is working closely with its commercial and global partners and is preparing for potential schedule adjustments normally experienced during spacecraft development".
NASA is all prepared to declare the names of the astronauts allocated to the new commercial crew capsules from SpaceX and Boeing, early next month. The companies originally targeted sending United States astronauts to space in 2017.
These astronauts will be the first to launch on vehicles owned by commercial companies. Those engines are created to power up if the launch rocket suffers a mishap and would eject the Starliner crew capsule to a safe distance.More news: Russia Is ‘Keyboard Click’ From Major Election Hack, Coats Warns
"We are confident we have identified the root cause and are implementing corrective actions now", he said.
"In similar fashion, NASA is empowering private industry to gain solid footing in low-Earth orbit, which will allow NASA to explore new frontiers in deep space".
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has goals that are no less lofty.
The first two on the list were initially slated for this summer, but a technical failure experienced during a recent test forced Boeing to revise the entire schedule until that problem is fixed.More news: Deadly 6.4-magnitude natural disaster hits tourist island near Bali