Commercial Crew Program Overview Updated October 19, 2021

Commercial Crew Program

Enabling safe, reliable and cost-effective crew transportation to and from the International Space Station

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21 'Commercial Crew Program' stories

March 2020 - October 2021

NASA‘s Commercial Crew Program is a human spaceflight program created in association with SpaceX and Boeing. It was created in 2011 to allow other companies to send NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) via their own spacecraft, such as SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. The program succeeds NASA’s involvement with Russia’s Soyuz program, which the agency previously used to carry astronauts to the ISS.

SpaceX successfully performed the first operational mission as part of the program on November 15, 2020. Called Crew-1, the mission launched four astronauts to the ISS aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Boeing has also been attempting to create its own crewed spacecraft called Starliner; however, various software issues have delayed this project from moving forward as quickly as originally anticipated. Boeing is scheduled to launch another test flight of the spacecraft in March 2021.

Updates on Boeing’s OFT-2 mission to the International Space Station

In August, Boeing attempted to launch its second Orbital Flight Test mission to the International Space Station but was plagued by valve malfunctions. Since then, Boeing and NASA have been giving updates on where they are with returning to launch.

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NASA reassigns Starliner crew members to SpaceX Crew-5 mission

NASA announced on Wednesday the first two members to fly on SpaceX‘s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station. The crew members were reassigned from Boeing’s planned first two flights on Starliner, which doesn’t seem to be launching anytime soon.

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[Update: Delayed past NASA Lucy mission] Boeing stands down from current Starliner launch window, returning spacecraft to factory

Update: In a press conference Boeing and NASA detailed why they will be moving Starliner back to their factory and the next possible launch opportunities.


The ongoing saga that is Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft takes another unfortunate turn today. Boeing has announced that it will return Starliner to its factory after experiencing hardware issues that prevented a launch attempt.

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[Update: Delayed: Awaiting new date] Next Launch: Boeing Starliner to conduct its second orbital test flight

Update: A few hours before launch Boeing announced that the launch was postponed due to issues with “unexpected valve position indications” used in the propulsion system.


After the missed opportunity to dock with the International Space Station due to a timer issue on its first flight a second test flight was needed. Boeing will be performing their second orbital flight test for their Starliner crew capsule as soon as Friday to dock with the ISS. This will also serve as the final test before NASA puts crew onboard to determine if it’s ready.

Date: Tuesday, August 3rd at 1:20 p.m. EDT

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Boeing’s OFT-2 mission completes its Flight Readiness Review before launch

NASA and Boeing will attempt to launch the Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2) mission on July 30th at 2:53 PM EDT. This comes after a successful Flight Readiness Review today.

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Boeing Starliner capsule secured to Atlas V rocket in preparation for Orbital Flight Test 2

Boeing’s Starliner Capsule for Orbital Flight Test 2 began its rollout from the company’s processing facility to ULA’s vertical integration facility. The capsule has been secured to the Atlas V rocket which will launch it to the International Space Station at the end of the month.

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Boeing’s Starliner Crewed Flight Test rocket arrives at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station

An Atlas V booster and Dual Engine Centaur have arrived at the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center (ASOC) after being offloaded from the Rocketship transport vessel. Spaceflight media was invited to attend the event to provide coverage. This is the third human-rated Atlas V rocket to be delivered to the Cape, with the first being stacked ahead of the Orbital Flight Test 2.

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New launch date for SpaceX’s next crewed flight to the International Space Station announced

Today NASA and SpaceX announced a new launch date for the next crew rotation on the ISS this coming fall. The new date is due to “visiting vehicle traffic” with a few missions possibly taking place around the same time.

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Boeing targets mid-summer launch for second Starliner uncrewed orbital flight test to ISS

Boeing is one step closer to joining SpaceX in launching astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA. The company’s Starliner spacecraft will conduct its second uncrewed orbital flight test, known as OFT-2, as soon as July 30. OFT-2 is Boeing’s second shot at having its spacecraft reach ISS, dock, and undock before returning to Earth.

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SpaceX Crew-1 returns back to Earth after Dragon’s first 6-month stay in space

After a 6-month stay at the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX’s first operational crew mission returned early this morning back on Earth.

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[Gallery] SpaceX launches Crew 2 on a reflown booster and Crew Dragon capsule

On April 23rd, at 5:49 ET SpaceX launched a Dragon 2 Crew Capsule to the International Space Station.

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[Update: Launched] SpaceX to send second operational crewed mission to the space station

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has been a huge success with the launch of DM-2 and Crew 1 for NASA last year. This year they have two more missions to launch crew rotations to the International Space Station under the Commercial Crew Program with the next coming up this week.

Date: Friday, April 23nd, 5:49 AM EDT

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NASA and Boeing set new date for second Starliner test ahead of astronaut missions

Boeing is positioned to start flying astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA as soon as this year, but the Starliner spacecraft must complete an orbital flight test without crew. NASA and Boeing now have a new date set for when the OFT-2 mission will be conducted. If successful, Boeing’s Starliner will join SpaceX’s Crew Dragon in transporting astronauts from the U.S. to the ISS for NASA’s Commercial Crew program.

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NASA and ESA name three astronauts for SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the ISS, one seat open for now

NASA and ESA have announced which three astronauts will train and become crew members for SpaceX Crew-3 mission in 2021. The mission, which is expected to launch sometime in the fall next year, will carry the three selected astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft.

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SpaceX launches first operational flight of Crew Dragon capsule with four astronauts bound for ISS

At 7:27 p.m. EST on Sunday, SpaceX launched astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi into space. This marks the first operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and the official transition to commercial transportation to the ISS for NASA. Since the end of the shuttle program in 2011, the U.S. has relied on leasing astronaut seats on Russian rockets to access space.

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[Update: New launch date] NASA targeting October 23 for SpaceX Crew-1 mission pending Crew Dragon certification

Remember the historic SpaceX rocket launch that sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station earlier this summer? After the successful demonstration mission, SpaceX is almost ready to start sending astronauts to space regularly through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Today, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the next date when SpaceX will send a crew to the ISS. NASA is targeting no earlier than October 23, 2020, for the upcoming SpaceX Crew-1 mission.

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NASA astronauts returning to Earth from ISS in August after first crewed SpaceX launch in May

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will depart from the International Space Center in August after becoming the first humans to ever go to space in a SpaceX spacecraft. A successful splashdown will conclude the SpaceX Demo-2 crewed flight test mission to certify the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft for operational missions.

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Boeing wants to send NASA astronauts to space, but first it must prove Starliner is ready

In a decision that has been months in the making, Boeing has announced that its Starliner spacecraft will conduct a second orbital flight test before it can demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities for NASA.

SpaceX passed its orbital flight test for NASA in March last year when its Crew Dragon capsule traveled to the International Space Station and back.

Boeing attempted its own orbital flight test in December, but the mission went awry within minutes of Starliner leaving the planet.

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Shannon Walker joins crewed SpaceX mission, launch target later this year

NASA announced this week that astronaut Shannon Walker has been assigned to the first operational crewed SpaceX mission.

Walker will NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover Jr., and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi on a six-month mission on the International Space State.

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NASA revives iconic ‘worm’ logo to mark return of human spaceflight from America since Shuttle era

This is news that NASA enthusiasts will consider completely epic. NASA is bringing back its iconic “worm” typeface logo starting with the upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule Demo-2 mission planned for next month.

The mission will mark a historic milestone for America’s space agency: NASA astronauts flying on an American rocket from American soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011.

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Flashback: SpaceX in 2012 vying for NASA commercial crew contract post Space Shuttle

Elon Musk’s 60 Minutes interview with Scott Pelley on CBS in 2012 has aged remarkably well for SpaceX.

Two things stand out. Falcon 9 and Dragon were only just preparing to begin cargo delivery to the International Space Station — something that’s now routine.

And Elon was dreaming of SpaceX succeeding the Space Shuttle for taking astronauts to space from American soil. Eight years later and that day has nearly arrived.

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