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NASA studying commercial crew contingency plans
Posted: Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 9:49 AM ET (1449 GMT)
Boeing CST-100 illustration NASA is starting to study a contingency option for maintaining access to the International Space Station that would turn commercial crew test flights into operational missions. Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said at a conference Thursday the agency was looking into that possibility should Boeing and SpaceX not have their commercial crew vehicles certified by late 2019, when NASA's access to Soyuz spacecraft ends. That approach would extend the crewed test flights planned for those vehicles, and possibly add a third astronaut to them. Gerstenmaier emphasized that planning was still beginning, and current schedules call for the commercial crew vehicles to be certified for regular missions by early 2019.
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