To say that NASA bet big on U.S. companies Boeing and SpaceX to provide solutions for manned spaceflight would be a colossal understatement. The space agency basically put all its eggs in two baskets, and neither of them seem to be capable of staying on track, with countless delays, setbacks, and the cost overruns that accompany them.
As Reuters reports, NASA’s recent rundown of “key risk items” heavily features the manned spaceflight hardware currently being worked on by SpaceX and Boeing, and warns that additional delays are likely in the cards. According to a source that spoke to Reuters, as many as 35 issues have been highlighted by NASA’s advisory panel, and addressing those problems will potentially push both companies even farther off schedule.
Spokespersons for both SpaceX and Boeing commented in an upbeat tone for the original piece, noting that the companies are working hard and hitting milestones, but concerns remain, especially when it comes to safety.
Ensuring that the homegrown rocket and ship technology from the two companies can safely carry travelers for many years to come means getting everything right, but the need for manned spacecraft is immediate.