NASA is likely to further delay its program to send U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station using capsules developed by Boeing and SpaceX, according to a report published Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office.
“Further delays are likely as the Commercial Crew Program’s schedule risk analysis shows that the certification milestone is likely to slip,” the GAO said in the report.
These further slips would push back the already delayed certification milestone for each program, which were expected by December 2019 for Boeing and January 2020 for SpaceX, according to an analysis earlier this year.
“Additional delays could result in a gap in U.S. access to the space station as NASA has contracted for seats on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft only through November 2019,” the report says. NASA “does not have a contingency plan for ensuring uninterrupted U.S. access.”
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