Commercial Crew Program Overview Updated January 25, 2021

Commercial Crew Program

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

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Nine 'Commercial Crew Program' stories

March 2020 - January 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.

Commercial Crew Program Stories January 25

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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Commercial Crew Program Stories December 14, 2020

On the left are NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Tom Marshburn. Far right is ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer
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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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Commercial Crew Program Stories November 16, 2020

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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Commercial Crew Program Stories September 29, 2020

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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Commercial Crew Program Stories July 17, 2020

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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Commercial Crew Program Stories April 6, 2020

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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Commercial Crew Program Stories April 5, 2020

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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Commercial Crew Program Stories April 2, 2020

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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Commercial Crew Program Stories March 4, 2020

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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