American astronauts could be stranded with no way to get to and leave the ISS

A model of the spacecraft CST-100 Starliner from Boeing. The US Government Accountability Office UU He said NASA needs a backup plan to take astronauts into space, given the additional delays on the horizon for the new capsules for commercial crew.

NASA's plans to send astronauts to the International Space Station in capsules Boeing and SpaceX have suffered a further delay.

Boeing has confirmed that there was an & # 39; anomaly & # 39; during a recent test of the launch abortion engines for his commercial crew vehicle CST-100 Starliner.

Now it has revealed that the problem has delayed the testing of the capsule until next year.

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A model of the spacecraft CST-100 Starliner from Boeing. The US Government Accountability Office UU He said NASA needs a backup plan to take astronauts into space, given the additional delays on the horizon for the new capsules for commercial crew.

A model of the spacecraft CST-100 Starliner from Boeing. The US Government Accountability Office UU He said NASA needs a backup plan to take astronauts into space, given the additional delays on the horizon for the new capsules for commercial crew.

WHEN CAN THE CAPSULES LAUNCH?

The development programs for the capsules of both companies have been delayed several times, and each of them expects to complete test releases unscrewed in August at the earliest.

NASA was expected to certify Boeing in December 2019 and January 2020, according to the analysis earlier this year, but the GAO says more delays are expected.

The existing timeline already causes a gap of at least one month in NASA's seating contracts with Russia and the first releases of Boeing and SpaceX.

According to the most recent timeline, the Starliner was scheduled to take flight for the first time without a crew in August, followed by a manned launch in November.

Boeing now expects the vehicle to make its test flight without weapons by the end of this year or early 2019, according to a press conference with reporters this afternoon. Then, the first test with crew will take place in mid-2019.

The incident occurred during a hot fire test of the engines used by the Starliner abortion system, integrated into a service module of the spacecraft.

It comes amid growing fears that US astronauts may be stranded without a way to get to and leave the International Space Station after a recent report from the Office of Government Accountability.

It occurs because updates to commercial crew test calendars for Boeing and SpaceX are expected to be released as early as next week, and are expected to reveal delays in the project to send astronauts to the International Space Station.

Boeing's static test took place in June at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.

"The engines went on successfully and worked all the time," the company said in a statement.

"During engine shutdown, an anomaly occurred that resulted in a propeller leak."

Boeing did not elaborate on the nature of the problem, but other sources, including social media posts several days before the official statement, stated that a hydrazine valve in the propulsion system did not close properly at the end of the test, which caused the propellant leaks, according to SpaceNews.

The incident occurred during a hot fire test of the engines used by the Starliner abortion system, integrated into a service module of the spacecraft.

The incident occurred during a hot fire test of the engines used by the Starliner abortion system, integrated into a service module of the spacecraft.

The incident occurred during a hot fire test of the engines used by the Starliner abortion system, integrated into a service module of the spacecraft.

"We have been conducting a thorough investigation with the help of our partners from NASA and the industry," Boeing said in the statement.

"We are sure that we find the cause and we are moving forward with corrective measures."

He warns that NASA needs a backup plan to take astronauts into space, given the additional delays on the horizon for the new commercial manned Boeing and SpaceX capsules.

Both companies have been targeting test flights by the end of this year, but the GAO says there are likely to be more delays.

If the postponements continue to increase, the GAO fears there is a gap in EE's access. UU To the International Space Station.

"There are likely to be further delays since the risk analysis of the Commercial Crew Program schedule shows that the certification milestone is likely to be reduced," the GAO said in the report.

"The additional delays could create a gap in US access to the space station as NASA has hired seats on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft until November 2019," the report says.

NASA "does not have a contingency plan to guarantee uninterrupted access to the United States."

When asked about the possible problem, the GAO report states that the Associate Administrator of NASA for Exploration and Human Operations stated that it is & # 39; exchanging other options to guarantee access to the ISS, but does not have a formal plan.

With its last shuttle flight seven years ago this month, NASA has been paying Russia to transport US astronauts. UU From and to the International Space Station. But that contract is finished by the end of 2019.

"Senior NASA officials told us to maintain a US presence in the ISS is essential to maintain and operate comprehensive systems, without which the ISS can not function," said the GAO.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (pictured) is in front of the firm's manned spacecraft, the Dragon V2, in 2014. The aircraft is designed to transport astronauts into space.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (pictured) is in front of the firm's manned spacecraft, the Dragon V2, in 2014. The aircraft is designed to transport astronauts into space.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (pictured) is in front of the firm's manned spacecraft, the Dragon V2, in 2014. The aircraft is designed to transport astronauts into space.

It was expected that SpaceX's Crew Dragon, along with Boeing's Starliner, would begin transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station in a few months.

The space firm of Elon Musk has revealed that its capsule has already been delivered to NASA for its first unmanned test mission.

"Crew Dragon is at NASA's test facility at Plum Brook Station in Ohio, home of the world's largest thermal vacuum chamber, to demonstrate its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and space vacuum," he said on Instagram. .

WHAT IS ELON MUSK'S CREW DRAGON?

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is loaded at NASA's Plum Brook Station test facility in Ohio, home to the world's largest thermal vacuum chamber, to demonstrate its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and space vacuum

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is loaded at NASA's Plum Brook Station test facility in Ohio, home to the world's largest thermal vacuum chamber, to demonstrate its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and space vacuum

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is loaded at NASA's Plum Brook Station test facility in Ohio, home to the world's largest thermal vacuum chamber, to demonstrate its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and space vacuum

The capsule is approximately 20 feet high by 12 feet in diameter, and will transport up to 7 astronauts at a time.

The Crew Dragon features an advanced emergency escape system (which was tested earlier this year) to quickly transport astronauts to a safe place if something goes wrong, experiencing the same G-forces as a trip at Disneyland.

It also has an Environmental Support and Environmental Control System (ECLSS) that provides a comfortable and safe environment for crew members.

The screens of Crew Dragon will provide real-time information on the status of the spacecraft's capabilities, showing everything from Dragon's position in space, to possible destinations, and the environment on board.

The screens of Crew Dragon will provide real-time information about the state of the spacecraft's capabilities, showing everything from the position of the Dragon in space to the possible destinations.

The screens of Crew Dragon will provide real-time information about the state of the spacecraft's capabilities, showing everything from the position of the Dragon in space to the possible destinations.

The screens of Crew Dragon will provide real-time information about the state of the spacecraft's capabilities, showing everything from the position of the Dragon in space to the possible destinations.

Those CRS-2 Dragon missions will use "propulsive" landings, where the capsule lands on a landing pad using its SuperDraco thrusters instead of falling into the ocean.

That will allow NASA faster access to the cargo returned by those spacecraft, and it will also accumulate experience for propeller landings of manned Dragon spacecraft.

"Once completed, Crew Dragon will travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida before its first flight," he added.

However, it is still unknown when Dragon Crew will take off.

The project, part of NASA's commercial crew scheme, will see Boeing and SpaceX launch the unmanned spacecraft first.

"I think we're going to get the [uncrewed] Demo flights probably by the end of the year, maybe a little after that. . . and then the crew's demonstration missions next year, "commercial astronaut Suni Williams said recently.

TAXI BOEING STARLINER SPACE

The Starliner is part of the operational mission of NASA's commercial crew to bring astronauts to the International Space Station.

It will be launched from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, and manned tests will begin in 2018.

The Starliner will be launched from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and is part of the operational mission of NASA's commercial crew to take astronauts to the International Space Station, allowing seven residents to grow.

The Starliner will be launched from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and is part of the operational mission of NASA's commercial crew to take astronauts to the International Space Station, allowing seven residents to grow.

The Starliner will be launched from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and is part of the operational mission of NASA's commercial crew to take astronauts to the International Space Station, allowing seven residents to grow.

The missions can take up to four astronauts at a time, with Eric Boe, Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley and Sunni Williams training.

In February, it was revealed that Boeing had hired a small company to manufacture around 600 3D printed pieces for its Starliner space taxis.

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