NASA specialists have said that SpaceX will be able to take people to space in April of next year 2019. Specifically, the astronauts will do it on board the Crew Dragon spacecraft of the US Company.
NASA wants to stop relying on Russia to take American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). And little by little, SpaceX is encouraging this change. Last 2014, the US disbursed 2,600 million dollars to the Elon Musk company for a spacecraft, agreeing another assignment with the Boeing company, for an amount of 4,200 million. Since then, the two projects have been delayed their launch dates, which are now emerging as clearer on the horizon.
Now, we have good news, as NASA announced that Crew Dragon from SpaceX, the spacecraft designed to transport astronauts into space, will be ready for an unmanned test in November 2018 and a manned test in April 2019. For its part, the CST-100 Starliner of Boeing, will be ready for an unmanned test at the end of this year or early next, while the manned test will surely occur in mid-2019, according to NASA estimates.
Once these manned tests are carried out, each ship will undergo the NASA certification process in order to obtain the approval. If we look at other forecasts, in July, the Government Accounting Office (GAO), an independent agency that investigates federal spending for the US Congress, published a report that says SpaceX will complete its certification process in February 2020, being Probably Boeing finished it a month before.
If the delay occurs until 2020 there would be a period in which NASA could find itself without any means to take astronauts to the International Space Station, since the contract with Russian Soyuz spaceship ends in November 2019.