SpaceX has been hard at work in recent months, with several objectives being completed without problems. The company will start an ambitious mission in a few months as it plans a launch a crewed spaceship. To increase the rate of success for the mission, SpaceX brought in a former NASA employee who was the leader of the human flight space program.
According to reliable sources, he has already started to work at the company headquarters, which are located in Hawthorne, California. It is said the employee reports directly to the SpaceX vice president of mission assurance.
Gerstenmaier was demoted in July when an exciting shift took place at the higher levels of the agency. In a leaked memo, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the move but did not offer any reasonable justification, preferring instead to highlight the fact that Gerstenmaier contributed to some of the most important initiatives of the agency.
SpaceX Recruits an Ex-NASA Employee
According to the current schedule, SpaceX will launch its first crewed mission in April or May. The mission is known under the name of Demo 2, and it will allow NASA astronauts to visit the International Space Station. NASA and SpaceX are also planning to extend the mission as the astronauts may perform a series of tasks aboard the ISS. This also requires training, and NASA will provide a definite timeframe at a later date.
The project is quite significant for NASA since the agency has relied on flights operated by Russia since the Space Shuttle program was retired in 2011. To pursue this goal, NASA offered a $3.1 billion contract to SpaceX for the development of the Dragon Crew capsule.
While some problems have been encountered during the research and development process, the spacecraft has managed to pass most of the critical tests without issues. After the development is completed, NASA will pay up to $55 million for an astronaut per flight, a sum that is considerably smaller in comparison to the price of Soyuz flights.