NASA’s Commercial Crew Program: Boeing And SpaceX Release Goals For 2016

Posted: Jan 22 2016, 10:29am CST | by , Updated: Jan 22 2016, 2:07pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

NASA astronauts
Photo credit: NASA

NASA is set to resume human spaceflights soon under its Commercial Crew Program, with launches taking off for the International Space Station (ISS) from the Space Coast in Florida. To this extent, NASA’s partners Boeing and SpaceX have begun to carry out flight tests in readiness for the launches, releasing what their goals for 2016 are as the eve to the launches draw near.

Boeing will be deploying its CST-100 Starliner for the launches, and SpaceX will be deploying its Crew Dragon for the program.

Both NASA and its spaceflight partners are aware of the difficulties in their way as they prepare for the missions, and hence the need to prepare fully by conducting numerous testing of ground and space systems.

Boeing and SpaceX are therefore outlining what their preparation programs are for this year as the missions draw close. With testing of ground and space systems, evaluations will be carried out to determine the need to modify the systems in any way, and this extends to parachute tests, launch pad certifications, and perfection of spacecrafts to be launched among others.

"A year always seems like a long time when it starts, but the team at NASA and the teams at Boeing and SpaceX know it is going to feel like a very short time as we continue to progress from one step to the next in the final development of a new generation of American spacecraft," said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. "Our success depends on the work we’re doing now to make sure every component and system that will go into these vehicles is safe and reliable for the future."

Since the ultimate aim is to safely deliver astronauts to the ISS, both Boeing and SpaceX are designing different spacecrafts and launch systems to make this work, and they are also developing mission and group support systems needed to make the missions work and hassle-free.

Boeing will be launching its CST-100 Starliner together with United Launch Alliance Atlas V, and the following are the company’s goals for 2016 as it prepare for its crew spacecraft launches:

• Parachute testing
• Starliner structural test article and qualification test vehicle
• Atlas V construction
• Space launch complex 41 modifications
• Part-task trainers
• Spacesuit qualification
• C3PF high bay and mission control center completion
• High-fidelity Boeing mission simulator
• Drop testing in water

For SpaceX which will be launching its Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 spacecraft, here are the goals to attain in 2016 in readiness for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program:

• Parachute testing
• Spacecraft testing and training mock-ups
• Crew dragon assembly underway
• Falcon 9 evaluations and manufacturing
• Launch pad 39A completion
• Spacesuit qualification
• Environmental control and life support system
• Validation of propulsive module land landing

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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