Boeing, SpaceX Working Towards NASA Spacecraft Test Flights

Jeff Brody

Boeing plans to conduct the first unpiloted flight of its Starliner spacecraft this October, and SpaceX is working towards the end of an investigation on a ground test mishap with the Crew Dragon spacecraft, Spaceflight Now reported Monday.

Officials said Starliner may fly from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station in October as preparations for the test are on schedule, despite the lack of announcement for spacecraft’s first actual NASA mission.

The U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range will serve as the location for Starliner’s pad abort trial, which aim to demonstrate Starliner’s capacity to abort launches during emergencies, as well as Starliner’s test landings.

After the unpiloted flight, the spacecraft’s crew flight test will bring Boeing and NASA crew to ISS. The transported personnel will remain in the space station for a maximum of six months. While still not having a specific schedule, the crew flight test may occur later this year or early next year.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is finishing its investigation on an explosion involving an earlier ground test with Crew Dragon.

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