Boeing and SpaceX were awarded contracts from NASA back in 2014 to send astronauts up to the International Space Station.
Originally expected to make crewed flights with the Boeing Starliner in 2017, the company has now announced that initiative will be pushed back to 2018.
Boeing’s executive vice president Leanne Caret told investors, “We’re working toward our first unmanned flight in 2017, followed by a manned astronaut flight in 2018.”
SpaceX is in the lead when it comes to sending astronauts to the ISS, but Boeing plans to proceed with an unmanned Boeing Starliner flight in 2017, before eventually launching a manned mission the following year.
Successful astronaut deliveries from Boeing and SpaceX will lower NASA’s costs significantly, costing them around $58 million versus the $70 million a seat NASA is currently paying Russian space agency Roscosmos to take astronauts to the ISS on Soyuz rockets.