Just before the first unplanned test flight scheduled for 2 March on NASA's multi-billion-dollar business crew program, the NASA Advisory Board quoted four "key risk positions" in its annual report for 2018 earlier this month. For Boeing, they include the structural vulnerability of the capsule upon deployment of the heat shield. For SpaceX, the report mentions the reconstruction of the SpaceX rocket container after the 2016 explosion and the process of charging and launching the missile with the crew already in the capsule. "Parashute performance" remains a problem for both companies.
"There are serious challenges to the current launch schedules for SpaceX and Boeing," the report said. Two people with direct knowledge of the program told Reuters that the concerns of the space agency exceeded the four listed elements and included a risk report that from early February contained 30 to 35 protracted technical problems for SpaceX and Boeing.
Reuters could not see what they were from nearly thirty people. Sources familiar with the issue, however, have said that companies have to deal with "most" of these concerns before flying astronauts and, ultimately, tourists in space. The NASA Risk Database is routinely updated during the rigorous NASA certification process, which includes data collection, testing, and collaboration with SpaceX and Boeing, people say.
Boeing and SpaceX systems have been postponed several times in recent years, a common occurrence in this sector, given the complexity of building a multi-billion-dollar spacecraft capable of discarding Earth's gravity.
NASA spokeswoman Joshua Finch postponed all technical issues. on Boeing and SpaceX systems to companies, referring to privacy, but said: "Flying safely always has an edge over the schedule."
Boeing spokesman Josh Barrett said the company "protected" the risk of structural vulnerability of the capsule when it completed its structural test program in January. While Boeing is working on a number of other issues, they "do not lead to major changes in architectural systems."
"Our numbers indicate that we are beyond the safety requirements of NASA," Barrett said.
SpaceX spokesman James Gleeson said the company working with NASA has developed "one of the safest and most advanced human space flight systems ever created."
"There is nothing more important about SpaceX from the safe flight of the crew, "said Gleason, calling it" the core of our long-term goal of providing access for people who dream of flying in space. "