It is very well known that NASA would prefer not to have to depend on Russia when it comes to sending its astronauts to space, but for this to happen, they would need to have a secure and dependable crew transportation system. At the moment, Boeing and SpaceX are both trying to achieve this need, but unfortunately, they are not prepared for this yet, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.
Both missions will most probably be delayed
Both companies have a contract with NASA to build and send commercial crew missions into orbit, but based on evaluations of their systems, there seem to be some problems that will delay both expected missions. The space vehicles that were supposed to reach the International Space Station are known under the names of the Dragon capsule for SpaceX and the Stairliner spacecraft for Boeing.
As stated by the Government Accountability Office in their report, even though both companies are making progress in their development of crew transportation systems, they “have further delayed the certification milestone to early 2019.” This only means that if both Boeing and SpaceX don’t manage to keep up with their milestones, there is not much that can be done by NASA to ensure that its astronauts get to the space station.
The power is not in NASA’s hands
What SpaceX and Boeing would have to do is to prove that they have manned spacecraft ready for sending astronauts safely to the International Space Station, which does not seem to be the case at the moment.
Unfortunately, neither company has what is needed to meet the required demands. Developing new spaceflight definitely comes with its challenges and it is better to put safety first, particularly when human lives are involved.