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NASA announces astronaut flight on SpaceX

The first flight of the Crew Dragon spaceship with American astronauts on board to the International Space Station (ISS) may take place in the first quarter of 2020, SpaceNews reports.

“If everything goes according to plan, this (the first Crew Dragon flight with a crew on board) will be in the first quarter of next year,” said NASA CEO Jim Bidenstein during a visit to SpaceX in California, USA.

The American publication notes that the stated plans may be hindered by the unavailability of parachutes and the emergency rescue system of the spacecraft.

In October, Sergey Krikalev, Roscosmos director for manned programs, said that in 2020 the state corporation would not be able to launch the third Soyuz MS spacecraft to the ISS if NASA needed it if Crew Dragon and Starliner were not ready.

In March, SpaceX sent Crew Dragon to the ISS, which was the first test orbital flight under the CCtCap (Commercial Crew Transportation Capability) program, which envisioned the creation of manned spacecraft by SpaceX and Boeing to deliver NASA astronauts to low Earth orbit.

Currently, people on the ISS, including American astronauts, are delivered exclusively by the Russian “MS Unions”. The corresponding contract between NASA and Roskosmos expires in February 2020.

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