Boeing and SpaceX postponed launches its first manned spacecraft

As expected, the private space company SpaceX and Boeing, as well as the US space agency NASA decided to postpone important launches of spacecraft, the development of which is aimed at the resumption of the program of manned space flight to the International Space Station on its own. On the transfer of the official site of space agency NASA. Recall now get American astronauts to the ISS as a Russian passenger spacecraft "Soyuz".

Boeing and SpaceX postponed launches its first manned spacecraft

According to the latest plans for two important test launch of a spacecraft CST-100 Starliner by Boeing were to be held this year. They decided to move to the next year. SpaceX, in turn, still wants to carry out the launch of the first unmanned spacecraft Crew Dragon this year. However, later than previously planned. The first manned launch of the company transferred to Elon Musk in April 2019.

Boeing and SpaceX are developing manned spacecraft within NASA commercial program. The agency wants to shift the responsibility of the shipping US astronauts to the International Space Station on a private US company, giving as a result of such services by the Russian Space Agency "Roskosmos". Boeing CST-100 creates Starliner - the spacecraft, potentially capable of lifting up to seven astronauts aboard. The ship is scheduled to run with the help of heavy carrier rocket "Atlas 5", which is engaged in the production of United Launch Alliance. SpaceX conducted a major upgrade its Dragon cargo spacecraft, turning it into a manned spacecraft, also capable of lifting on board a crew of up to seven people. Per ship into orbit is planned with the help of the carrier rocket Falcon 9. Before both devices will be admitted to the official operation space agency NASA wants to spend their manned and unmanned test runs. The first launch Starliner without crew had to take place in August this year, and the first manned - in November. Now Boeing has set for an unmanned test launch of a new period - the beginning of 2019. The first manned launch in turn, will take place somewhere in the middle of 2019. In addition, Boeing was going to end this summer to test the launch abort system Starliner, designed to rescue the crew in case of a serious accident at the start. To do this, at the bottom of the ship has four jet engines that shooting with a crew capsule from the main part of the rocket, and shall bring it to a safe distance. Boeing test this system, too, I decided to move in the spring of 2019 year. It will take place after an unmanned test run.

It appears that the main reason for the delay is related to the incident during the test, held in June, when Boeing held static burn engines abort run Starliner machine system. According to engineers, the launch engine was successful. They worked out the right time, but during their off several valves of an engine failure given. As a result, this led to the fuel leak. During the test, the system does not receive any damage, and no one was hurt. After the incident, Boeing said it would thoroughly investigate arisen "anomaly" and make structural changes to the system if necessary.

"We have formed a separate team, which deals with the elimination of this problem," - said project manager John Mulholland Starliner during a press conference held on August 2, which was announced to postpone the manned and unmanned test launch vehicle.

As for SpaceX, then this company, too, everything went as planned. As of January this year, it was known that SpaceX is going to make a test launch of an unmanned vehicle Crew Dragon this August and the subsequent manned test launch was to be held in December this year. Unmanned launch is now rescheduled for November this year. If it is successful, the company plans to conduct a manned test launch in April next year. If SpaceX will decide once again starts to move, the company runs the risk that it will overtake Boeing and the first will take people to the ISS on a private spacecraft.

Update: Today, August 3, at the Johnson Space Center, space agency NASA announced the names of the astronauts, who will participate in the first private manned space launches SpaceX and Boeing.

Crew Boeing CTS-100 Starliner as part of a test launch of a manned spacecraft, scheduled for mid-2019, will be: Eric Boe, Christopher Ferguson and Nicole Mann. The crew of the first official space mission to the ISS on board the Boeing CTS-100 astronauts will Starliner Josh Kassad and Sunita Williams.

The first crewed spacecraft Crew Dragon company SpaceX as part of a manned test become astronauts Robert Behnken Luis and Douglas G. Hurley. The launch is in April of 2019. The first manned mission to the ISS Crew Dragon fly astronauts Victor Glover and Michael S. Hopkins. The date of its implementation will be announced later.

Boeing and SpaceX postponed launches its first manned spacecraft

The first crews Boeing CTS-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft