KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL —Boeing and Space X continue building space taxis that will travel from Earth to the International Space Station (ISS) for commercial flights.
The flights would shuttle astronauts to and from the ISS, but also commercialize space operations in low Earth Orbit.
Boeing's CST-100 Starliner will test unmanned flights to the orbital outpost next month.During their safety test last October, one of the three parachutes failed to deploy, but the results still proved acceptable for the test parameters and crew safety.
“It comes down to trust,” said Mann. “I’m talking about trust in the individuals—our fellow Americans—who are building this spacecraft and making this possible. You walk around the factory and there is this amazing attention to detail, and it gives you this great level of confidence,” said NASA Astronaut Nicole Mann at the rollout of Boeing’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Space X's Crew Dragon will hold in-flight tests of its launch abort system in the next month.
Each is expected to start testing early next year, once they get clearance from NASA.
For the first time since the U.S. space shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA is looking to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil.