Quelle surprise – NASA admits that Commercial Crew launches will be delayed yet again

by | Feb 18, 2019 | NASA, Satellites, SpaceX, Technology

In what is becoming a habit, NASA has been forced to admit that its plan to have crew aboard commercial launches of commercial spacecraft has been delayed again. Specifially, the uncrewed test launches of both SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and the Boeing CST-100 Starliner (CST-100) spacecraft have now been delayed from 23 February to March, and from March to April, respectively. Both these missions will be docked with the International Space Station (ISS).

CST-100 Starliner. Courtesy: Boeing

The official reason given by NASA was that both had been delayed for the “completion of necessary hardware testing, data verification, remaining NASA and provider reviews, as well as training of flight controllers and mission managers.”

These delays to the unmanned test flights mean that crew-carrying test launches have also been postponed, with the first crewed Boeing Starliner test mission now taking place in August (delayed from June) and with the first manned Crew Dragon flight rescheduled to July (from June). As a result, to ensure confidence in getting its astronauts to the ISS, NASA has decided to purchase two more “seats” on Soyuz missions from Roscosmos.

Artist’s illustration showing Crew Dragon undocking from ISS. Courtesy: SpaceX

Comment by David Todd: Even these missions are likely to be further delayed. Given this – the Seradata SpaceTrak database has registered six or more delays on each of the unmanned test missions – NASA should really have plumped for the technically better Dream Chaser mini-shuttle design from Sierra Nevada. It eschewed this choice in favour of the two capsule designs from Boeing and SpaceX as these promised to be faster to get into operation. Not so it seems. A better choice would have been to have paired one of them with Dream Chaser as a lower risk back-up to it.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Naming of crew hoopla camouflages fact that NASA Commercial Crew flights are delayed again

NASA has formally announced the names of the nine astronauts who will fly on commercial crew flights procured from Boeing and SpaceX. Read more

Manyana…Manyana…NASA confirms that commercial crew systems are delayed again

NASA confirmed that the maiden flights of the Boeing Commercial crew systems’ CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon had been delayed Read more

Boeing and SpaceX get four more crew delivery missions each

While neither has yet had their manned capsule designs fly, and while both have had their test flight programmes delayed, Read more

Analysis: Boeing’s lateness with its commercial capsule starts to make its selection suspect

Boeing has now admitted that its Boeing CST-100 Starliner commercial crew capsule is late and will not make a crewed Read more

TASS reports NASA has booked more Soyuz seats for its astronauts at US$88 million a pop

The state Russian news agency TASS has reported that RSC Energia, the firm in charge of the building and operation Read more

Boeing gets first commercial manned flight order

Following a US$4.2 billion contract from NASA to complete the CST-100 manned transport spacecraft (as part of the Commercial Crew Transportation Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website