SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine removed the doubt of public in a press conference saying that their partnership to fly NASA’s astronauts to the space station is still on and working really hard on this assignment. And the first crew could be launched on SpaceX vehicle as soon as it would be possible nearly in the first quarter of 2020.
SpaceX is one of the companies developing hardware to transport NASA Astronauts from an International Space Center, as a part of the space agency’s Commercial Crew program. NASA is currently relied on Russia’s Soyuz rocket to transport crew members to the ISS, which is though costly approximately $85 million per seat but with this Commercial Crew Programm, it would hardly cost $50 million per seat which way cheaper than now according to NASA’s estimate.
Though Commercial Crew Program has suffered many delays as NASA had expected the first crew to fly in 2017 but the dates has been pushed back repeatedly due to one or other problems. Even in March this year SpaceX flew an uncrewed version of its capsule named Crew Dragon, which successfully docked in ISS and had then returned to Earth too successfully but just a month later the same capsule exploded during its ground test in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Which leads to further delay in the first crew to fly.
But now both Musk and Bridenstine says that SpaceX is almost ready to fly now, depending on how the testing goes through the end of the year. Jim Bridenstine has even tweeted on his tweeter Handel that –
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) September 27, 2019
Even both had said that we’re very confident that in the first quarter of next year, we will be fully ready to launch our first crew to ISS.