In a video promoting Boeing's spaceship Starliner, the words "Your Ride Is Here" are prominently placed. The statement suggests that Starliner is prepared and ready to send crews to the ISS – but is that it?
19. March 2019
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – In a video promoting Boeing's Starline spacecraft, the words "Your Ride Is Here" are prominently placed. The statement states that Starliner is prepared and ready to send crews to the International Space Station. How close is the company in terms of the correspondence of reality with his words?
NASA has been working on handing over responsibility for the design and production of spacecraft (both crew and autonomous missions) to private companies. Recent events provide an opportunity to review the progress made in the Agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) under President George W. Bush in 2005.
According to the Space Agency:
"Part of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is the office located in the Johnson Space Center of NASA in Houston. The office will manage orbital transport capability demonstration projects that may lead to the procurement of commercial cargo and crew transportation services to service the space station. "
As mentioned earlier, NASA has invested heavily in the emerging private space industry to support its growth in the US market. From transporting cargo and crew to the Space Station, and developing robotic Lunar Landing Vehicles, the Agency's past philosophy of "owning" the spacecraft they have booked has become a system in which they help companies develop these vehicles.
The two companies now working on this destination are working on Boeing and SpaceX for sending astronauts to and from International Space Station. The Space Agency announced significant financial awards as companies went through the different phases of the program. SpaceX has made steady progress on takeoff, reentry and recovery during the Demo Flight 1 mission (March 2 through March 8).
For SpaceX, Demo Flight-1 was one of the key milestones it had to fulfill under the CCP's mandate. Boeing has not yet achieved some of these goals and is slowly behind SpaceX.
Both companies have to prove that their vehicles adhere to the strict rules by which the crew of spacecraft with which the Agency launches astronauts are assessed. The CST-100 capsule "Starliner" from Boeing had some technical problems. According to a report by Ars Technica, critical engines were leaked in June 2018 to stop Aerojet Rocketdyne's highly toxic hydrazine fuel.
Boeing has not yet performed a pad-abort test (the current time is the test) seat in 2019), something that needs to be done before an unmanned demonstration flight. SpaceX completed this milestone four years ago in 2015.
Some NASA officials initially regarded Starliner as the frontrunner of the Commercial Crew program. Given that the company producing the spacecraft was founded in 1916 and has been involved in US spaceflight since the opening days of the space age, it seemed a safe bet.
The "Flawless" March 2, 2019 The launch of a Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket and its payload of the automated Demo Flight-1 Crew Dragon probe seems to suggest otherwise. In addition, it was founded by a company founded in 2002. Not only age differentiates Boeing from SpaceX.
There are several differences between the two companies to meet the requirements of the NASA CCP:  Crew Dragon – Reusable. The first crew flight is scheduled for July this year (2019).
- Starliner CST-100 – Up to ten times reusable. The first unmanned flight (Orbital Flight Test 1) is currently scheduled for August 2019 (one month after SpaceX sent astronauts to the International Space Station).
- Atlas V (422) – Not reusable. The first launch of this rocket was on August 12, 2002 with the Hotbird 6 communications satellite.
Normally, NASA asks for proposals for projects and competing companies to bid on those contracts. Other established companies were considered, but not approved, to go through the various stages of the commercial crew program.
In 2014, Boeing received approximately $ 4.2 billion for the provision of transportation services to the International Space Station. SpaceX received an estimated $ 2.6 billion.
Jason Rhian spent several years interning at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content to outlets such as Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.