Main Engine Cut Off

Commercial Crew Flights Slip Two Months

Updated Commercial Crew schedules have been posted in a blog post by Anna Heiney on NASA’s Commercial Crew blog:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test: August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test: November 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: April 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): August 2018

That’s a two month slip across the board, and three months for Boeing’s crewed flight. We had previously heard some cautious statements on the Boeing front, but hadn’t heard anything from SpaceX.

I speculated last week that there is potential for schedule tension between Falcon Heavy and Dragon 2 with the former seemingly slipping into 2018. This two month slip gives Falcon Heavy some breathing room.

If they can get SLC-40 back online this year—which seems likely—and get the work to support Falcon Heavy at 39A done by January or February, that still gives Falcon Heavy a solid month or two to get the kinks worked out on the pad and carry out its demo mission before flipping 39A over to Dragon 2.