It was yesterday that the NASA director expressed his assurance that NASA will launch astronauts to the ISS using US-based rockets, from the US itself. Adding to this happy news, SpaceX has something else to announce. The latest reports have indicated that SpaceX Dragon Crew and the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket are almost ready to take the astronauts to space. NASA has tied up with both SpaceX and Boeing for the Commercial Crew Program, which would take NASA astronauts to the International Space Stations. It seems that SpaceX would be the first company to achieve that mark. As of now, both are going through the final stages of hardware development and testing.
While the complete development will be finished soon, SpaceX will start shipping the components to where the launch will be happening. Once succeeded, SpaceX would be the first private company in the history of the United States to have not only made but launched astronauts to space from the US soil. Since 2011, the US has been relying on the Russian Soyuz rockets for taking astronauts to the ISS. It will also be a noticeable achievement to the Trump government, although the plans for Commercial Crew Program was started back in the days of Barrack Obama.
While many of the components are past the development stage, SpaceX has started doing some tests on a few other components like the Parachute systems. This will be an integral part of the system, helping the astronauts to land back on earth safely. Experts familiar with the matter say that the type of testing is quite tough for companies, but SpaceX has managed to do two tests already. At the same time, areas like hardware integration and other areas are going on the full speed. According to NASA, the launch will be taking place at least three months earlier, in January 2019.