Boeing’s first test flight is designed more than just its sole purpose. From the preceding days just this month, NASA had announced that they already have an update about its commercial crew contracts with one of the main contractors, Boeing Company.
To be exact, Boeing was one of the two main contractors, together with Space Exploration Technology Corporation or also known as SpaceX that will have a partnership with NASA to build a crew vehicle to carry out the astronauts going to and from the space station.
The change that surrounds on its initial test flight will include an option for the flight to be extended, probably from two weeks to six months, and then potentially add a third member of the crew. This could mean that the initial test flight of Boeing Company is not solely dedicated to testing alone. But this fact is not a surprise to us.
GOA had released a report in January and said that the Boeing’s and SpaceX rocket’s human flight certificate would probably have a delay until the next year’s end. NASA has currently had seats for the astronauts on the spacecraft Russian Soyuz through the 2019’s fall.
However, the Russian has claimed that they no longer have Soyuz seats available for purchase. This problem left a gap between the idea of when we need the operational spaceflight capabilities and what is the exact time for us to have them.
As this issue arises, the only options left right now is to use the test flight of Boeing and SpaceX as the actual flights, where we can carry the astronauts going to and from the space station. This is an ideal step instead of just using the test flights to the actions they are solely designed.
The changes happened in the contracts may expand the options that are offered to NASA as the time runs. Perhaps, we can use the first test flight into something it is capable of and take advantage of its full functions. It has the potential, indeed. But given the delays that take place in taking the commercial crew program, it is not a surprise that NASA will have this pace to give the space agency enough room to think better and do the right thing prior to the mission.