The partnership between NASA and SpaceX is becoming clearer. The US space agency plans to solicit SpaceX and Boeing for astronauts to be taken to the international space station. This should concern regular missions.
The announcement was made last Thursday: two NASA astronauts will take part in a SpaceX rocket flight. This is a historic first, it should take place in June 2019. And it will not be the only robbery during this period. Indeed, in August of the same year, another flight will take place, this time aboard a ship manufactured by Boeing.
NASA astronaut to travel well with SpaceX next year
Phil McAlister, director of private flights at NASA, said there may be some changes in dates:
” However, launch dates will remain uncertain, and we anticipate that they could change as and as we get closer to the launches. “
He went on to say:
” These are new aircraft, and the engineering teams have a lot of work to do before the systems are ready to fly .”
The two flights that will take place next year have test value.
Two flights to ISS that will serve as tests
Thus, the two astronauts who will embark on SpaceX will make a two-week trip aboard the International Space Station (ISS), then return to Earth. If the operation proves successful, the astronauts will carry out regular missions that will have a duration of six months.
Before these populated tests, however, SpaceX and Boeing take their precautions. Two unmanned tests should be done: in January 2019 for SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket, in March 2019 for Boeing and his ship ” Starliner “, which will be propelled by the rocket Atlas V.
NASA’s decision to use SpaceX will end the agency’s deal with Russia. Since 2011, NASA has been buying seats on the Russian Soyuz to send astronauts to the ISS. This contract will expire in November 2019.