NASA revealed on Monday that the two renowned private spaceflight companies namely Boeing and SpaceX are putting up extensive amount of effort to launch astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA expects to save millions of dollars in the successful execution of this idea latest by 2017.
Kathy Lueders, the commercial crew program manager from NASA explained in a live online press conference that the expected average expense to fly astronauts using Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Dragon from the soil of America is likely to be 58 million U.S. dollars per seat occupied. This estimation is based on a five-year mission plan.
Presently, Roscosmos, the space agency of Russia costs NASA more than 70 million dollars per seat to fly the American astronauts.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden told that the agency is so hopeful about this project that he would never want to pay Roscosmos after 2017.
NASA chose Boeing and SpaceX at the end of 2014 as the builders of future crew vehicles. Since then Boeing is making huge progression with their CST-100 and SpaceX is all set to come up with Dragon spacecraft. They will come along with that rockets that would push forward the space vehicles into the orbit.
As the space shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA became increasingly dependent on Soyuz spacecraft of Russia to sent the astronauts to the International Space Station.
During the conference, Boeing elaborated their plans stating that there will be a pad abort test in February 2017. The successful testing would be followed by flight test with no crew during April 2017. And if everything turns out to be fine, in July 2017, they will make their first fully fledged sojourn with a Boeing pilot who will be accompanied by an astronaut from NASA. And in all probability their maiden mission to the International Space Station will take place in December 2017.
The other company SpaceX, California wants to end up the similar process by the beginning of 2017.
“I feel that when we have two robust systems flying our four crew members and the additional powered cargo to and from the station, and providing the lifeboat function, NASA and the nation will be the winners,” Lueders concluded.