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SpaceX's new astronaut taxi won't make its inaugural trip to the International Space Station (ISS) this month after all.
SpaceX and Boeing are developing commercial space capsules — called Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner, respectively — to carry NASA astronauts to and from the orbiting lab.
Agency - March - Launch - SpaceX - Crew
"The agency now is targeting March 2 for launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon on its uncrewed Demo-1 test flight. Boeing's uncrewed Orbital Flight Test is targeted for launch no earlier than April," NASA officials wrote in the status update.
Artist’s illustrations of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner (left) and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules in orbit.
Adjustments - Completion - Hardware - Data - Verification
"These adjustments allow for completion of necessary hardware testing, data verification, remaining NASA and provider reviews, as well as training of flight controllers and mission managers," they added.
The next big box to check after these demonstration flights will be tests of the private vehicles' emergency escape systems, which would get the capsules away from danger if a problem arose during launch. Boeing plans to run this test in May, and SpaceX will perform its version in June.
Milestones - Test - Flights - ISS - Astronauts
Then will come huge milestones — crewed test flights to the ISS. Astronauts haven't launched to orbit from American soil...
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