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Technology SpaceX and Boeing are racing to put a man in space, and they’re both losing

20:12  12 july  2018
20:12  12 july  2018 Source:   bgr.com

SpaceX launches communication satellite, ditches old booster

  SpaceX launches communication satellite, ditches old booster SpaceX has launched another satellite for a Luxembourg communication company. But it ditched the recycled Falcon 9 booster in the Atlantic following Monday's liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite operator, SES, tweeted, "What a beautiful start to the week!"The powerful, hefty SES satellite, weighing in at 12,000 pounds (5,400 kilograms), will provide TV and data coverage across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.The Falcon's first-stage booster previously flew last September. SpaceX is switching to a new and improved line of boosters, and so made no effort to recover this one.

Right now, both SpaceX and Boeing are working independently to meet that demand, but a new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that neither of them are as far along as they should be , and that’s not great news to U.S. astronauts.

However, we ' re now hearing that SpaceX ’s manned launch has been delayed until December, which pushes Elon Musk's company back until after Boeing ’s planned manned flight in November. Even so, SpaceX ’s aggressive timeline had put them in a comfortable lead.

a plane flying in the sky © Provided by BGR

NASA would love to stop having to rely on Russia to send its astronauts into space, but realizing that dream means that someone needs to step up to the plate with a safe, reliable crew transportation system. Right now, both SpaceX and Boeing are working independently to meet that demand, but a new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that neither of them are as far along as they should be, and that’s not great news to U.S. astronauts.

The two companies — SpaceX with its Dragon capsule and Boeing with its Starliner spacecraft — are both under contract with NASA to develop, build, and launch commercial crew missions to the International Space Station, but assessments of the two companies’ systems reveal shortcomings that will likely delay the deployment of both.

SpaceX launches communication satellite, ditches old booster

  SpaceX launches communication satellite, ditches old booster SpaceX has launched another satellite for a Luxembourg communication company. But it ditched the recycled Falcon 9 booster in the Atlantic following Monday's liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite operator, SES, tweeted, "What a beautiful start to the week!"The powerful, hefty SES satellite, weighing in at 12,000 pounds (5,400 kilograms), will provide TV and data coverage across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.The Falcon's first-stage booster previously flew last September. SpaceX is switching to a new and improved line of boosters, and so made no effort to recover this one.

The new space race . "It's all about getting hardware to orbit Under the Commercial Crew program, SpaceX and Boeing will return the capability of launching The way that they changed the zeitgeist," Christensen said. The rocket put SpaceX at the top of a short list of available heavy lift vehicles.

" They ' re both different, and they ' re both better than suits that we've had in the past," Williams said. It wants Boeing and SpaceX 's spacecraft to have less than a 1-in-200 chance of killing a crew in an accident — three times less than the space shuttle.

The government report doesn’t mince words regarding how the delays could affect NASA’s science efforts as they relate to work aboard the International Space Station:

“Boeing and SpaceX continue to make progress developing their crew transportation systems, but both contractors have further delayed the certification milestone to early 2019. Without a viable contingency option for ensuring uninterrupted access to the ISS in the event of further commercial crew delays, we concluded that NASA was at risk of not being able to maximize the return on its multibillion dollar investment in the space station.” 

In short, if the two companies can’t keep up with their milestones, NASA simply doesn’t have a backup plan for getting its astronauts to the space station. Meeting NASA’s demands means proving beyond a shadow of a double that the manned spacecraft are capable of safely delivering astronauts to the ISS, and neither company has come close yet.

As SpaceX has clearly demonstrated over the past decade, building new spaceflight systems is incredibly challenging. The company has celebrated its failures in the past as learning experiences, but things change dramatically when human lives are on the line. It’s obviously crucial that both companies get things right, and if delays mean safe travel in the future, it’ll be worth the wait.

SpaceX relaunches the final Falcon 9 rocket design .
Tonight, SpaceX has launched a satellite to geostationary orbit, but that payload isn't what makes this mission special: it's the rocket itself. Falcon 9 and Merah Putih are vertical on Pad 40 in Florida. Weather is 80% favorable for the two-hour launch window, which opens Tuesday, August 7 at 1:18 a.m. EST, 5:18 a.m. UTC. https://t.co/gtC39uBC7zpic.twitter.

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