NASA needs a way to get astronauts to the international space station that doesn't pay Russia much money, so it hit deals with both SpaceX and Boeing to build crew caps that are capable of meeting that need. Earlier this month, SpaceX successfully sent its Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, paving the way for crew tests within months, but what about Boeing?
A new report from Reuters suggests that Boeing has a much harder time getting its Starliner spacecraft ready for its first major test. Boeing, who analysts thought would hit SpaceX's Crew Dragon for delivery with a significant margin, has now allegedly pushed back its virgin flight to the space station for months, and the first crew flights will not take place until the end of the year if They even happen in 201
The report, citing named sources, claims that the first unmanned test flight of Starliner has been delayed by three months. Adjusting the timeline based on the new information Boeing's first crew of spacecraft would not be ready for November, and it is believed that everything goes perfectly from here.
Both Crew Dragon and Starliner have been plagued by delays over the last few years, forcing NASA to find new deals with Russian space agency Roscosmos to fly NASA crew members to the ISS and back. The clock is ticking, and right now it is clear that SpaceX is much closer to delivering the NASA-needed crew-marked spacecraft than Boeing.
Meanwhile, NASA is doing its best to prepare for a worst-case scenario in which or perhaps both programs fail to deliver by the end of 2019. The agency is removing the decision to throw more money into Russia to ensure that its astronauts can make it to the ISS throughout 2019 and by 2020, but no decisions have been taken as