Barring any more unforeseen developments, it looks like NASA’s commercial crew will become operational by as early as the summer of 2020, according to a recent report of NASA’s Inspector General. The event will, among other things, signal the beginning of the end of Russia as a space power.SpaceX’s Crewed Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner were supposed to start taking astronauts to and from the International Space Station by 2017. Technical glitches and other problems have delayed the commercial crew program by three years.Moreover, the delays may cause a temporary reduction in the crew size of the ISS with an accompanying slowdown in the orbiting laboratory’s science research and development. NASA’s OIG is recommending that NASA pay for more flights on the Soyuz space capsule to cover the gap. The space agency will have to use money allocated to other priorities unless Congress can be prevailed upon to cover the cost.ADVERTISEMENTThe good news is that shortly, Americans will fly on American spacecraft from American soil for the first time since 2011. The far-too-long dependence on Russia for Americans and others to fly into space will at last come to an end. As it turns out, that development will transpire none too soon.Two… Read full this story
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