SpaceX poised to beat Boeing with first astronaut flights

NASA SpaceX Boeing astronaut cst 100 starliner crew dragon spaceships spacecraft american flag space race illustration business insider shayanne gal 2x1

When President Obama took office in 2009, he retained the Bush policy to terminate the shuttle program, which ultimately ended in 2011. According to Bloomberg, NASA will name the astronauts that will fly on the tests on Friday.

"Tomorrow we will meet the astronauts who will be the first to fly the CST-100 Starliner". ULA is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

NASA/Kennedy Space Center (via Flickr); Boeing; Shayanne Gal/Business InsiderAn illustration of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft (left) and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft (right).

NASA's updated timeline did not provide reasons for the delays. Like many spaceflight programs, development has been slow-going, with milestones regularly delayed. The uncrewed capsule will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in late 2018 or early 2019 - followed by a launch abort test with another unmanned Starliner vehicle, Spacecraft 1, sometime during next year's first few months.

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These flight tests will have similar configurations to the uncrewed tests, but the crew will have the ability to interface with spacecraft displays, communicate with mission control, and practice manual controls during flight.

Witnesses at January 17, 2018 House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on commercial crew.

This will include science samples from human and animal research, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations and education activities, the statement said.

No launch date has been set for NASA's satellite fix demonstration, but the mission is expected to happen between 2020 and 2022. Future integration of the crew access arm will allow for safe crew entry for launch and exit from the spacecraft in the unlikely event a pad abort is required.

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Also, the organization will declare the crew tasks for the foremost post-certification operation and crew flight tests for both SpaceX and Boeing, in a press conference to be chaired over by Jim Bridenstine, the NASA Administrator. His remarks were widely reported and Boeing spokeswoman Rebecca Regan confirmed the news via email to

Boeing and SpaceX came out on top with their CST-100 Starliner and Crew Dragon space capsule designs, respectively.

The other four astronauts that NASA has selected, however, aren't yet publicly known.

Boeing continues to manufacture its Starliner spacecraft inside NASA Kennedy Space Center's Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility in Florida. "If NASA does not develop options for ensuring access to the ISS in the event of further Commercial Crew delays, it will not be able to ensure that the US policy goal and objective for the ISS will be met", the report argued. For CST-100 Starliner, there will be one from NASA and one from Boeing.

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