"NASA's Commercial Crew Program will return human spaceflight launches to U.S. soil, providing safe, reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit and the space station", the agency said, "on systems that meet safety and performance requirements". SpaceX and NASA are now targeting a March 2nd Falcon 9 launch from Kennedy Space Center. Assuming those tests go well and there isn't a need for further delays, we'll see the first crewed mission from SpaceX, Demo-2, happen in July, while Boeing's Crew Flight Test will happen no earlier than August.
The demo flight for NASA's astronaut program was originally scheduled for early January, but during the 35-day government shutdown, that date slipped to late February.
The Crew Dragon, which is created to take astronauts to the ISS, will need to undergo its first uncrewed test flight before next steps.
SpaceX's new astronaut taxi won't make its inaugural trip to the International Space Station (ISS) this month after all. Since the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011, NASA has been paying Russian Federation to launch astronauts to the station and bring them home. Launch of the unpiloted test flight is now targeted for March 2.
In a statement posted on the agency's website, NASA said the revised schedule will allow time for "completion of necessary hardware testing, data verification, remaining NASA and provider reviews, as well as training of flight controllers and mission managers".
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"We are excited about seeing the hardware we have followed through development, integration, and ground testing move into flight". The agency is counting on its commercial crew program to begin operational crew rotation flights before the end of the year.
NASA also hopes to send astronauts into space using capsules made by Boeing.
If schedules hold, the crewed launches this summer will be the first to take off from US soil carrying humans to low-Earth orbit since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. An "uncrewed" test is supposed to go down in April. Once they are completed, the Dragon 2 will be certified by NASA for regular flights to the space station.
Now playing: Watch this: NASA taps SpaceX, Boeing to bring space travel back under. Boeing will run a pad abort test no earlier than May 2019 now, while SpaceX will perform an in-flight abort test in June.