NASA Warns SpaceX and Boeing About Safety Flaws in Spacecraft
Back to the Basics
Both Boeing and SpaceX are working to develop tools for NASA to use in upcoming crewed missions from the International Space Station.
While NASA planned on launching test flights over the next few months, the whole program may be delayed as the government agency has found over 30 technical flaws or safety hazards for each company’s system, according to Reuters — a startling rebuke of the efforts of two premier private spaceflight companies to do work for the U.S. government.
“SpaceX and Boeing both have challenges, both comparable, from a safety perspective,” a source from within the government told Reuters.
In the past, NASA has paid Russia’s space agency to shuttle astronauts but is currently leaning on private industry to develop alternative options.
NASA spokesperson Joshua Finch told Reuters that the agency was willing to delay missions as long as is necessary to make sure that astronauts will actually reach the space station safely.
For SpaceX, NASA reported concerns over how the rocket is presently fueled with astronauts already on board. NASA also found problems with how SpaceX rockets orient themselves when landing in water.
Meanwhile, it said, Boeing capsules may not be structurally sound. And both companies, according to Reuters, may not have adequate parachute systems to ensure a safe landing.