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Waspie_Dwarf

Space Station crew contingency plans

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Waspie_Dwarf

NASA studying commercial crew contingency plans

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NASA is beginning to study a contingency option for maintaining access to the International Space Station should commercial crew vehicle development experience delays, one that would turn test flights of those vehicles into operational missions.

Speaking at the Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Space Transportation Conference here Feb. 8, Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said using the planned crewed test flights as crew rotation missions was one option under consideration should neither Boeing nor SpaceX be certified for regular crew rotation missions by the fall of 2019, when NASA’s access to Russian Soyuz spacecraft ends.

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Waspie_Dwarf

Boeing proposes extending test flight of commercial crew capsule

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NASA has agreed to consider a Boeing proposal to extend the first piloted test flight of its commercial CST-100 Starliner crew capsule from two weeks to up to six months with an extra crew member for the International Space Station, hedging against potential delays that could jeopardize U.S. crew access to the orbiting outpost, officials said last week.

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Waspie_Dwarf

NASA could extend space station stays as hedge against commercial crew delays

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NASA is working with the Russian space agency to potentially extend crew stays on the International Space Station, the agency’s acting administrator said last week, as a cushion against expected delays in the development of commercial crew capsules by Boeing and SpaceX.

Robert Lightfoot, who has led the U.S. space agency on an interim basis since January 2017, told lawmakers Thursday that NASA is looking for ways to ensure U.S. astronauts can fly to the space station in case commercial spaceships designed by Boeing and SpaceX are not operational by the time a transportation contract with Russia expires in late 2019.

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Waspie_Dwarf

ISS crew schedules delay need for commercial crew

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LOS ANGELES — New International Space Station crew assignments announced by NASA May 24 will give the agency a little additional schedule margin for getting commercial crew vehicles into service as it continues to study backup options.

In a statement, NASA announced it was assigning astronauts Christina Hammock Koch and Andrew Morgan to ISS missions launching in 2019. Koch will launch on a Soyuz mission to the ISS in April 2019 as a member of Expedition 59/60, and Morgan in July 2019 as part of Expedition 60/61.

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