Washington, Oct 7: Nasa has announced the first human spaceflight aboard a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to take place in June 2019. Meanwhile, a manned flight on Boeing spacecraft is set to follow in August 2019.
First SpaceX mission with Nasa astronauts set for June 2019:
It is the first crewed mission by the US since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011. NASA astronauts currently use Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and its contract is set to expire in November 2019. While both SpaceX and Boeing launches have already been postponed several times, NASA on Thursday said that it would now be providing monthly updates on deadlines.
SpaceX's single piece spacesuit:
SpaceX will carry out an uncrewed test in January 2019, and Boeing in March 2019. SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 rocket for its launch with a Crew Dragon capsule attached on top. The crews will be using new lighter spacesuits developed by SpaceX and Boeing.
Boeing, SpaceX awarded a combined $6.8 billion in contracts:
In 2014, Boeing and SpaceX were awarded a combined $6.8 billion in contracts from NASA to develop spacecraft capable of flying crews to the space station. Earlier in August, NASA had also named nine astronauts including Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams for its first human spaceflight programme since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.
Boeing and SpaceX have made significant strides in the development and operation of a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Programme. Nasa is depending on the success of both missions as its contract with the Russian space agency expires in November 2019.