Space X and Boeing astronaut capsules will have more delays
Delays are expected by SpaceX and Boeing Co for their access to the ISS after 2018. So, SA should have some alternative plans for certification of the astronaut transport capsules, as stated by government watchdog.
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Both SpaceX and Boeing Co are making spacecraft that will take astronauts to the ISS. The given report released by the U.S accountability officer shows that though the plans include the certifying of capsules in the coming year, but it will be delayed till 2019.
After the end of space shuttle program in 2011, the U.S depended on Russian space agency for taking astronauts to ISS, but NASA's contract will end in 2019 in the spring, according to LATimes.
Without an alternative plan, NASA won’t be able to get the revenue against an investment of several billion dollars it made in the ISS.
Both companies are under lot of pressure and they have made aggressive developments. The aggressive approach involves several risks that would delay the certification, reported by the GAO. The Boeing needs more tests for its parachute system that’s important for capsules’ landing.
Boeing reduced its parachute tests from 6 to 1, last year in March. The tests help in detecting different forces. Boeing increased the number of tests to 5 regular and 2 additional tests if required after discussing it with NASA. The Boeing official said that their main objective is to stick to the schedule for safe transportation for the astronauts to and from the ISS.
Space X made changes in the design of Falcon 9 rocket in 2015 due to certain issues. SpaceX will also make a test flight in November with its crew capsule without humans. Whereas, Boeing’s first test flight will happen in 2018, and both companies first crewed test flights will occur in 2018.