Saying that NASA is investing heavily in American companies Boeing and SpaceX to provide manned spaceflight solutions would be a tremendous understatement. The space agency basically puts all its eggs in two baskets, and neither of them seems to be able to keep track of countless delays, adversities, and transitions that accompany them.
As Reuters reports, NASA's recent "major risk" review includes the manned spacecraft currently operating on SpaceX and Boeing, and warns that further delays are likely in the cards. According to a source speaking to Reuters, as many as 35 issues have been highlighted by NASA's advisory panel, and addressing these issues will potentially drive both companies further away.
Spokesmen for both SpaceX and Boeing commented on an optimistic tone for the original part, noting that companies are working hard and beating milestones, but concerns remain, especially in terms of security.
Ensuring that the homegrown rocket and ship technology from the two companies can safely carry travelers for many years to come means getting everything right, but the need for manned spacecraft is immediate.
The most pressing issue is the International Space Station, and NASA has paid the Russian space program to carry American astronauts there for some time. NASA extended its agreement with Roscosmos last year after it became clear that neither SpaceX nor Boeing could meet their more optimistic deadlines. Now, with absolutely no way to send astronauts to space after 201
NASA's requirements are high and both companies must prove their aerodromes are safe and reliable before any astronauts get to heaven. It will be interesting to see if any company is ready by the end of 2019, or if further delays and problems push the timeline back again.