Report: Execs Say Boeing, SpaceX Crew Vehicles Can Meet NASA Safety Thresholds

Boeing and SpaceX executives have said they believe their commercial space vehicles can meet NASA’s “loss-of-crew” requirement and other safety thresholds, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.

John Mulholland, a vice president and program manager for the commercial crew program at Boeing, said the company has been evaluating the loss-of-mission, ascent-and-entry and loss-of-crew requirements for years and has made changes to the vehicle design based on those analyses.

“Where we are now is that our analysis shows we can exceed the NASA requirements for all three of those criteria,” Mulholland said during a panel discussion Tuesday at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Space Forum.

“We’re looking right now to be meeting the requirements,” said Benjamin Reed, director of commercial crew mission management at SpaceX.

The executives’ assessments come as Boeing and SpaceX prepare to begin flight tests of their crew vehicles.

Boeing plans to perform an unmanned flight test of its CST-100 Starliner late this year or early 2019 and launch the spacecraft for a crewed mission by the middle of next year.

SpaceX intends to kick off a test flight of its Crew Dragon in November and launch the vehicle for a manned mission in April 2019, the report added.

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