NASA releases new dates for first commercial crew spacecraft launches
First launches with astronauts slated for summer 2019
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX and Boeing are entering the home stretch for the first test flights of spacecrafts designed to return launching NASA astronauts from Cape Canaveral.
NASA released new launch dates Thursday for the first Boeing's Starliner CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft test flights without crew. In August, both companies were targeting late this year for the first test flights, however, those dates have now slipped into the beginning of next year.
Here are the new dates:
The Crew Dragon's first test flight on Falcon 9 is scheduled for January, with the first possible flight with crew in June. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be on the June flight.
SpaceX will launch from Kennedy Space Center’s historic launch pad 39A.
Boeing Starliner is slated to launch on its first test flight in March with a possible crewed test flight in August. On that flight will be NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu Mann along with Chris Ferguson, a former NASA astronaut, who now works for Boeing.
The Starliner will liftoff on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41.
The space agency also said it plans to update these dates monthly with changes if needed.
The first mission to the International Space Station will happen after August, according to NASA's current timeline, however, the space agency didn't say which spacecraft would make the first trip.
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