Boeing develops the Starliner after NASA chose them and SpaceX to each build a spacecraft that would send humans to the ISS. The suits that NASA astronauts wear during spacewalks at the International Space Station are total relics, and the last suits that were worn on the surface of something other than Earth (so, the Moon) now collect dust in museums.
NASA has outsourced the design of new spacesuits to various contractors, and those projects resulted in prototypes that would seem to be a huge step forward. The Obama Administration initiated a "commercial crew" program similar to commercial cargo with the goal of having two systems in operation by 2015, a four-year gap in the USA ability to launch people into space. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will be launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. ULA is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. SpaceX's is the Crew Dragon launched on SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.
Although they are PPPs, the government provides the lion's share of the funding.
The Starliner program has seen repeated delays. Like many spaceflight programs, development has been slow-going, with milestones regularly delayed. "After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation missions".
On Friday, the space agency plans to announce crews for the first flights of SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner.
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The findings point to a stark contrast with NASA's current focus on human spaceflight and deep-space exploration, as the agency works on a lunar orbital platform for the early 2020s and a mission to Mars in the 2030s.
Witnesses at January 17, 2018 House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on commercial crew. The company said it has identified the root cause of that incident and will make both operational and technical changes to ensure the valves close properly in the future.
It has been widely expected that those dates would slip, however. With all this happening you might be thinking that astronaut wardrobe is the least of NASA's concerns, but you couldn't be more wrong.
USA media are invited to attend the event at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and, afterward, speak with the astronauts about their assignments. The crewed demonstration flight, with two astronauts on board, will follow in April 2019, four months later than previously announced.
The Starliner program has completed 80 percent of its testing with "tremendous progress" made as it gets prepared for flight, Mulholland said. That might mean two NASA astronauts plus Boeing's (Chris Ferguson, a former NASA astronaut). Boeing and SpaceX volunteered to perform these tests to demonstrate their systems are safe for crew.