NASA has plans to elongate the stay of its crews at the International Space Center for a few days more. Robert Lightfoot, the acting NASA administrator told last week. It is a precautionary measure which NASA is taking to ensure the fact that there is a proper cushion for the delay that is taking place in respect of the development of crew capsules by the organizations such as SpaceX and Boeing.
Detailed Backup plan
Robert Lightfoot who has been heading the NASA for the time being since 2017 has told that they are trying to ensure the fact that they will try to send U.S. astronauts into the International Space Station if the commercial companies such as Boeing as well as SpaceX are unable to deliver the requisite spaceships within 2019. This timeframe is because of the transportation contract that is signed with Russia and it is going to expire in 2019.
One option which has already been executed is elongating the initial test flight with regards to crew ships commercial in nature from the present duration of two days to a maximum of 6 months. This extension of the contract is already done with Boeing officials where the first testing of the crew ships has been extended from the existing two days to a duration of 6 months. The space agency has also viewed that it would like o to enter a similar arrangement with SpaceX as well if it wants to.
Lightfoot of NASA has also said that the space agency does not want any gap to occur in between the Soyuz mission who is under the contract of the U.S. astronauts and the inception of proper movement of the crew in space flights which is to be executed by SpaceX and Boeing.
However, according to the Accountability office of the government, NASA will be behind the schedules fixed for sending crews to International Space Station. This is mainly due to the fact that both SpaceX and Boeing will not be able to complete building up the machines before the end of spring in the year of 2019.
They have further stated that the certification in respect of Crew Dragon of the SpaceX which will be taking crews to space on a rotational basis will be obtained only at the end of December 2019. While it is likely that Boeing will receive its certification only after February 2020.