Published: Fri, November 15, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Commercial Crew Flights Delayed Until Summer 2020 — NASA Inspector General

Commercial Crew Flights Delayed Until Summer 2020 — NASA Inspector General

The full-duration firing brings the company one step closer to flying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station next year. But the payment could have been easily avoided "through simple changes to the flight manifest", NASA's inspector general wrote in the report. Their will take the role of accelerating the spacecraft for about nine seconds. NASA then agreed to pay the additional $287.2 million for these four missions, which are likely to fly in the early 2020s.

The NASA report says both Boeing and SpaceX together received almost $7 billion since 2014 for developing their separate capsule systems.

On Thursday, NASA's inspector widespread launched a report on the home company's enterprise crew plan, which seeks to spend Boeing and SpaceX to provide motor automobiles to transportation astronauts to the Intercontinental Room Station.

Boeing, the inspector general said, found a way to capitalize on that delay.

The report shows, on average, a seat on Boeing's Starliner capsule will cost $90 million, nearly double the price of a ride on SpaceX's crew Dragon, at $55 million.

In making the funds, NASA officers additionally didn't consider that Boeing had acquired a number of seats on a Russian spacecraft that it was planning to promote to NASA, one thing that might have helped fill the perceived hole in flights.

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NASA instead requested Boeing "propose prices for additional flexibilities to fill an anticipated crew access gap, including shortening its lead times for rocket and spacecraft production", the report states.

"However, this is an opinion, three years after the fact and there is no evidence to support the conclusion that Boeing would have agreed to lower prices", he argued. We provided a draft of this report to NASA management who concurred with all of our recommendations. Notably, the report publishes estimated seat prices for the first time, and it also delves into the extent that Boeing has gone to extract more money from NASA above and beyond its fixed-price award.

Comparability of Boeing's Starliner and SpaceX's Dragon autos. But the inspector general report questioned the rationale for the Boeing contract, finding that the first flights on Boeing's Starliner capsule would cost $90 million a seat, slightly more than what Russian Federation charges. It has also faced harsh criticism from USA lawmakers over its best-selling 737 MAX aircraft, which was grounded after 2 deadly crashes in 5 months killed 346 people. However, after 5 years in the current phase of development, the program is several years behind its planned operational date. Criticism has been withering on Capitol Hill.

Since 2017, the year when Commercial Crew Program launches were originally scheduled, NASA has paid approximately $1bn for 12 seats to send USA astronauts to the ISS on Soyuz rockets, according to the OIG report.

On the Monday of November 4, the CST-100 Starliner capsule used its emergency- exit thrusters to get out of the rocket during a "pad abort arrest" in the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range situated in New Mexico. The most interesting part of the report is the costs - and in particular, the vast difference in the pricing of Boeing's Starliner seat and SpaceX's Crew Dragon seat. The pin was underneath a protective sheath and out of sight. Last April, during a similar test, there was an explosion that engulfed and destroyed the capsule. But the company this week completed the same test and it appeared to go well. It will parachute into the Atlantic where SpaceX will recover it for study.

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