Following the crewed tests, each craft will undergo NASA's certification process. Under the Barack Obama administration, NASA's Earth Science program saw its biggest growth spurt, and this was because of climate change and the anthropogenic causes of climate change, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Under the new schedule, SpaceX will fly an uncrewed demonstration mission in November 2018, three months later than the previous schedule released by NASA early this year.
The current plan calls for an uncrewed Starliner capsule, known as Spacecraft 3, to be launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket to the International Space Station in late 2018 or early 2019.
Also, the most recent planet-hunting probe of NASA-the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)-has begun its hunt for new worlds around close by stars, as said by the US Space organization.
A report issued last month by a USA government auditor said Boeing and SpaceX are unlikely to be able to send astronauts to the ISS next year, resulting in a possible gap in the U.S. presence on the spacecraft. Boeing and SpaceX volunteered to perform these tests to demonstrate their systems are safe for crew.
"Safely and reliably flying commercial crew missions for NASA remains the highest priority for SpaceX", said Benji Reed, Director of Crew Mission Management at SpaceX.
"When we get to this point the companies will have tested every piece of the spacecraft individually, but there is so much more learning that occurs when the spacecraft is actually operated in space". The first test flight with a crew on board is targeted for "mid-2019", NASA said. For CST-100 Starliner, there will be one from NASA and one from Boeing.
At the same time, rival company SpaceX is still on track for the August launch of DM-1, the unmanned demonstration mission of its Crew Dragon capsule, note the sources.
It is unclear when these first flights will happen.
In 2014, Boeing and SpaceX were selected to build those systems.
These flight tests will have similar configurations to the uncrewed tests, but the crew will have the ability to interface with spacecraft displays, communicate with mission control, and practice manual controls during flight.
"The crew right now is actually working on integrated crew simulations on the flight systems", said Lueders.
Among the options being considered by NASA is to use the crewed flight test as a crew rotation flight by adding a third astronaut to the mission and extending its stay from two weeks to as long as six months.
"I see parallels between commercial crew and the early aviation industry, when government nurtured that commercial innovation", said Cowart.