First SpaceX Mission With Astronauts to be Set to Launch for June 2019: Says NASA
NASA has recently revealed the first crewed flight by a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). The flight is expected to launch in June, 2019.
The space ship will be the first one of its kind to launch to the orbiting research laboratory by a man. The space shuttle program was expired in 2011, forcing US astronauts to hitch costly rides aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
In August 2019, a flight on Boeing spacecraft is set to follow the SpaceX.
The timetable has been already decided for both of the launches, and although it has been postponed several times before, NASA revealed on Thursday that it will be providing monthly updates on deadlines.
“This new process for reporting our schedule is better; nevertheless, launch dates will still have some uncertainty, and we anticipate they may change as we get closer to launch,” said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA Headquarters.
“These are new spacecraft, and the engineering teams have a lot of work to do before the systems will be ready to fly,” he added.
Both missions are considered to be tests, for example, the two astronauts transported in each flight will spend two weeks aboard the orbiting ISS before returning to Earth.
In the long term schedule, NASA will use Boeing and SpaceX to take astronauts to the space station for regular missions, which are supposed to last for about six months.
SpaceX will carry out an uncrewed test at first in early January 2019, and then for Boeing in March 2019.
A Falcon 9 rocket will be used for SpaceX to launch with a Crew Dragon capsule attached on the top of the ship.
Boeing S Starliner ship will be sent into space by an Atlas V rocket made by the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture with Lockheed Martin.
NASA is depending on the success of both missions as its contract expires in November with the Russian space agency in November 2019.