As per reports, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk has allowed NASA boss to tour SpaceX factory on October 10 and seek progress report on the company's delayed Crew Dragon astronaut spacecraft. NASA is paying private launch contractor SpaceX and Boeing corporation $6.8 billion to build rocket and capsule systems to send astronauts to International Space Station from US soil since the end of space shuttle program ended in 2011.
NASA's chief Jim Bridenstine's visit to SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles comes in the wake of major technical challenges on the Crew Dragon. A joint news conference is scheduled for 2 pm.
I’ll be visiting @SpaceX tomorrow! You can watch live right here on Twitter as I address the media on @Commercial_Crew progress with @elonmusk at 5 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. PDT). Tune in! https://t.co/fthgz1y9bv— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) October 10, 2019
The meet comes in the wake of a public feud earlier between Musk and NASA chief who targetted Musk on Twitter for an apparent celebration of the milestone achieved on SpaceX's deep space Starship rocket while completions of Crew Dragon remains indefinitely delayed. Bridenstine reportedly said that it is time to deliver. Musk later had replied back at a news conference saying that costs overruns on a rival NASA moon rocket later known as Space Launch System. Both Boeing and SpaceX capsules have been offset by delays and testing mishaps.
Reports say SpaceX successfully launched an unpiloted Crew Dragon spacecraft in March to International Space Station which was a $100 billion orbital research laboratory and flies about 400 kilometres above the Earth even as the date for the manned mission remains unclear after mishaps.
The @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and #CrewDragon spacecraft that will be used for the In-Flight Abort test have arrived at SpaceX facilities in Cape Canaveral, Fla. for preparation ahead of the test! pic.twitter.com/aA76Gs81qe— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) October 3, 2019
NASA has stopped providing updates until it names a new head for human spaceflight operations, agency spokesman Matthew Rydin said. Industry insiders meanwhile say under the conditions the first Starliner manned mission was all but certain to delay to 2020.
(with inputs from agencies)