Despite the fact that SpaceX had already made their announcement earlier this year that the company is still on track for the 2017 launch, NASA authorities have recently confirmed that the commercial space taxis being developed by SpaceX and the Boeing Co. will start carrying astronauts to the International Space Station no earlier than 2018, and there's a chance the schedule could slip even further.
SpaceX 2018: Is It Still A Go?
Recently last September, in one of their statements revealed by Yahoo News, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that NASA wasn't presently looking at any additional seats beyond those that they have already purchased. Thus, experts are convinced that any further schedule delays is more likely to create further complications, considering that NASA hasn't purchased seats aboard Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for flights past 2018.
Furthermore, as per NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Martin, the current schedule calls for uncrewed test flights to the space station in November 2017 for SpaceX and June 2018 for Boeing. According to Florida Today, SpaceX was found to have been aiming for the return of its Falcon9 to flight in early January with a launch from California, after completing an investigation into a rocket's explosion during a Sept. 1 test on the pad at the Cape's Launch Complex 40.
SpaceX authorities have revealed that they are already carefully assessing our designs, systems, and processes taking into account the lessons learned and corrective actions identified. The company further adds that one of their primary focus next year will be on wrapping up final testing of the Crew Dragon's propulsion and parachute systems, building the first flight vehicle and completing the first test flight. Ultimately, it was found that during their latest shuttle crew in July 2011, astronauts have allegedly left an American flag which, in turn, will be captured by the first commercial crew to visit the space station, that is, of course, if all goes according to plan.