It is still not sure when the new space shuttles capable of carrying out manned commercial missions will be ready. However, Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA announced on Thursday that Akihiko Hoshide, the Japanese astronaut will be making way for an American space flier on the Russian Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft when it carries a fresh batch of astronauts to the International Space Station next year. He iterated that NASA has obligations of paying Russia for one or multiple seats in Soyuz in 2020, for making sure that the ISS has at least one US astronaut at any given point in time.
While speaking to ‘Spaceflight Now’, the NASA Admin reiterated that access of US astronaut to the ISS is of primary interest for NASA, as it is navigating a gradual transition of depending solely on Russian Soyuz modules to a system where there will be three space vehicles capable of carrying human to the space – the existing Soyuz modules from Russia, and two additional space vehicles – Starliner from Boeing and Crew Dragon from SpaceX.
Bridenstine also said that he is hoping that either SpaceX or Being will be operational by the first half of the next year. That means several ground tests and other flight parameter evaluations have to take place over the next few months before the vehicles can be deemed ready and perfectly fit.
The last Soyuz flight one confirmed US seat under the command of NASA will be launched in April next year from the BaikonurCosmodrome located in Kazakhstan while the landing is set to take place in October.
Speaking at the press conference, Bridenstine discussions between NASA and Roscosmos regarding the new US seat on Soyuz have still not started. He said that there was a high probability of NASA asking Roscosmos for at least one or two more US seats for the flight.
With over 5 years of deep experience in Science domain, it is obvious that George is involved in the management of the Science department of Industry News Publisher and works as the Head of the department. Along with his active listening and communication skills, George is also known for his mastery in handling any critical situation. Before starting to work at Industry News Publisher, George played a strong role as a newspaper columnist for approximately 3 years and explored his writing skills. At Industry News Publisher, George’s key responsibility is to carry out a quality check of each and every news report in the department. He holds M.Sc. in Space Resources Degree.