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Jan 18, 2018

Delays and safety concerns mar NASA’s plans to fly astronauts on commercial spacecraft

NASA’s ambitious initiative to fly astronauts on commercial spacecraft continues to suffer from schedule delays, as well as questions regarding the program’s safety — and Congress isn’t happy about it. Members of the House Subcommittee on Space held a hearing today in which they grilled representatives from NASA and its commercial partners about the program, known as Commercial Crew. They voiced concerns that the commercial vehicles might put human crew members at risk, and that the companies will miss crucial deadlines by two to three years.

As part of the program, two companies — Boeing and SpaceX — are developing spacecraft to ferry NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. When these two companies were selected by...

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