SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule that exploded during a test inside Air Force’s Cape Canaveral hangar could allegedly put in jeopardy the collaboration between NASA and SpaceX. The explosion occurred in April of this year, and delays NASA’s plans to send astronauts to the International Space Station from American soil later this year, the US space agency’s chief reported this week.
Jim Bridenstine, a NASA administrator, has refused to give more details regarding their timeline for the multibillion-dollar Commercial Crew Program and stated that he would not undermine the results of an examination of the accident. He told reporters at Paris Airshow that the schedule will definitely suffer changes and it won’t go as initially planned.
The administrator’s comments threw shades on SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk’s target of offering transport for the astronauts to the International Space Station and back to American soil this year. A person familiar with the issue said, though, that SpaceX has numerously expressed confidence that it can bounce back.
NASA says the SpaceX Crew Dragon accident delays the plans to send astronauts into space
The United States had to depend on Russia for transport to the space station for years, and the Commercial Crew Program has set a goal to change that. Boeing, another contractor, signed with NASA to create a separate rocket and capsule system that would transport astronauts into space, but it also postponed its flights for months.
NASA has also claimed that it is thinking about paying for two more seats to the International Space Station for the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020 to secure US access.
SpaceX’s astronaut flight was initially scheduled for July after a successful unpiloted round-trip of six days mission in March. The April accident happened as SpaceX was testing eight emergency thrusters made to propel the capsule named Crew Dragon, to safety from on top of the rocket in case the takeoff would fail. NASA has paid $6.8 billion to SpaceX and Boeing to create their separate capsule systems.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.