The private space jet Boeing is on the path to launch its space taxi on next month.NASA has made contracts with Boeing,the other space agency than SpaceX and later Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner won’t be taking any astronauts along for its first flight to the ISS, however. After docking robotically with the orbiting lab, it will return to Earth for a parachute landing in Texas.
If things go right,Boeing will become the second private agency to send astronauts to space in August. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is currently scheduled to lift off on its first uncrewed test flight on Feb. 28, with a crewed flight to follow sometime in June.
Not only will the Starliner and Dragon become the first spacecraft to launch astronauts from U.S. soil in about eight years, but Boeing and SpaceX will also become the first private companies to launch people to the space station. Since the shuttle retired, NASA has been relying on Russia to launch astronauts to the space station using its Soyuz rocket-capsule combo.