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SpaceX, Boeing Neck and Neck for Next Manned Space Mission

SpaceX, Boeing Neck and Neck for Next Manned Space Mission

This Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 photo made available by SpaceX shows the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Fla. (SpaceX via AP)

By    |   Monday, 15 January 2018 04:20 PM

SpaceX and Boeing are both expected to fly manned missions into space by the end of 2018 after testing uncrewed flights earlier in the year.

NASA would like to be able to fly crews to the International Space Station from the U.S., which has not been done since 2011 when President Barack Obama retired the U.S. Space Shuttle program, Fortune reported

Both SpaceX and Boeing were contracted by NASA in 2014 to work toward crewed launches to restore crewed spaceflight in America, but have faced Congressional redirecting of funds in recent years that have made the goal difficult to achieve, Fortune said.

The companies are in a bit of a race to launch a crewed space flight, with the winner getting to claim a symbolic U.S. flag stuck to a hatch at the ISS. Right now Boeing’s flight is scheduled earlier, in November, but many things can happen to push back the currently scheduled dates, even as far back as early 2019.

Confident that it’s only a matter of time, NASA has begun to name astronauts for the scheduled flights, Fortune reported. The companies need to test their spacesuits, spaceships, and other gear, according to Space.com. SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has already been flown unmanned to carry cargo to the ISS and is now being modified to carry a crew.

The Dragon spacecraft was just retrieved for the first time after a cargo launch, Fortune reported. It has been six and a half years since the last human spaceflight mission took off from American soil, Space.com noted.

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SpaceX and Boeing are both expected to fly manned missions into space by the end of 2018 after testing uncrewed flights earlier in the year.
spacex, boeing, manned, mission
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2018-20-15
Monday, 15 January 2018 04:20 PM
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