Boeing expects to carry out a pad abort test for its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle in early November, followed by an uncrewed orbital flight test in mid-December, a company executive said Oct. 8.
Boeing and SpaceX said Aug. 19 that they expect to carry out critical test flights of their commercial crew systems this fall, with SpaceX still hopeful of launching astronauts to the International Space Station this year.
SpaceX said July 15 that the explosion that destroyed a Crew Dragon spacecraft during a ground test in April was likely caused by oxidizer that leaked into the spacecraft’s propulsion system and destroyed a valve, but didn’t give a firm schedule for resuming test flights.
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.
A SpaceX executive May 2 provided new details about, but no cause of, an incident that destroyed a Crew Dragon spacecraft during a ground test last month.
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.
NASA is moving ahead with plans to launch a cargo version of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station next week as the investigation into an explosion of a Crew Dragon spacecraft continues.
A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft suffered what the company said was an “anomaly” during static fire tests of its abort engines April 22, dealing a setback to the company’s plans to fly a crewed test flight later this year.
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.