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An incident involving a test of parachutes for one commercial crew vehicle has heightened awareness of the challenges involved in developing those systems, as well as determining what constitutes an anomaly.
Members of an independent safety panel said it will take time to determine what happened during a SpaceX Crew Dragon testing incident several days ago, and that its impact to the overall commercial crew program remains uncertain.
A day after Boeing confirmed delays in test flights of its commercial crew vehicle, NASA said that the company’s crewed test flight will get an extended stay at the station when it does fly.
Even before the launch, NASA officials said there was already work identified before the Demo-1 flight that needed to get done before the agency would consider flying astronauts on board.
NASA managers have given their approval for SpaceX to proceed with an uncrewed test flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft on March 2.
NASA announced Feb. 6 another set of delays to the schedule of commercial crew test flights by Boeing and SpaceX, increasing concerns that the vehicles won’t be ready to starting transporting astronauts to the International Space Station by the end of this year.
NASA announced Jan. 22 that it is replacing an astronaut who was scheduled to fly on a commercial crew test flight later this year because of a medical issue.
NASA confirmed Jan. 10 that an uncrewed test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft will now take place no sooner than February, due at least in part to the ongoing government shutdown.