UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) – A message appeared on the NASA website, which approved approximate terms for manned flights on reusable space capsules from SpaceX and Boeing. For the Space Agency, this is an important step towards the creation of a personal system for transporting astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
In 2011, NASA abandoned the use of “space shuttles” – reusable transport spacecraft. Now there is a contract concluded between the Russian Federation and the Space Agency for the delivery of US astronauts to the ISS.
In this case, the cost of transporting one astronaut is 82 million dollars. As reported in August, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, the term of the contract expires in April 2019. NASA does not plan to extend the agreement, but they want to build their own delivery system. For this, the agency attracted private companies SpaceX and Boeing.
SpaceX is going to launch the first spaceship Crew Dragon in January 2019, and in June it must fly first astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. Boeing will test the orbital flight of the ship Starliner in March 2019, and in August it will go into space astronaut company Chris Ferguson and his colleagues at NASA: Erik Bo and Nicole Aunapu Mann.
Since both manned flights are regarded as test flights, the cosmonauts participating in them will spend no more than two weeks on the ISS.
Phil McAlister, Director of the Federation for Commercial Space Flight (CSF), spoke in more detail about the tests of the ships of both companies:
“The closer we get to the launch of astronauts from the United States, the more detail we have regarding the schedule. However, the launch dates will remain somewhat uncertain, they may be adjusted as the tests approach. These are absolutely new spaceships, and engineers still have a lot of work to do before the devices are ready.”
In September, SpaceX announced the name of the first tourist to go to the moon. They became the 42-year-old Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maedzava, but together with him and the other passengers will fly.