Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Crewed Spaceflight to Surge as Boeing,SpaceX Awarded NASA Contracts-Commercial Crew Program test schedule disclosed

Beginning in late 2017,the pace of crewed space flight programmes will pick up markedly,long hobbled by the gap between the end of the Space Shuttle Program and the beginning of the Orion and Commercial Crew Programs.Boeing and SpaceX have each been awarded six crew rotation missions that will fly following NASA certification of their capability to safely transport astronauts to and from Low Earth Orbit.The Commecial Crew Program will help NASA get full operational use of the national lab aboard the International Space Station for scientific research by increasing the number of astronauts on the ISS and allowing the crew to dedicate more time to research and testing,including activities preparing for deep space exploration.*
Each Commercial Crew spaceflight will transport up to four astronauts and 220 pounds of cargo to the ISS.*
The current schedule for the CCP spacecraft test flights is as follows:
SpaceX Crew Dragon uncrewed flight test:November 2017;
SpaceX Crew Dragon crewed flight test:May 2018;
Boeing CST-100 Starliner uncrewed flight test:1 June 2018;
Boeing CST-100 Starliner crewed flight test:August 2018.*
The Boeing CST-100 Starliner will launch on a United Launch Alliance (Boeing/Lockheed Martin) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,Florida.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center,Florida.*
Incidentally,NASA's Orion spacecraft is slated to launch on the new Space Launch System rocket its uncrewed Exploration Mission-1 in December 2018.*
The increase in deep space research and testing resulting from the CCP will facilitate the progress of the Orion missions to the Mars system and require more astronauts.The next class of NASA astronauts will be announced in 2017.*
Boeing (BA),Lockheed Martin (LMT)

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