90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

To keep space station staffed, NASA plans to buy more rides from SpaceX for its astronauts

A view of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule from the launch tower at Kennedy Space Center. Photo: SpaceX


NASA plans to buy more rides to the International Space Station for its astronauts from SpaceX, part of NASA long-term goal of staffing the station until 2030.

NASA said it needs more rides on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to make sure it can staff the ISS as Boeing continues to certify its Starliner capsule for astronaut missions. Boeing’s capsule successfully docked with the station and returned safely to Earth last month on an uncrewed test flight, but has yet to fly NASA astronauts.

“The recent success of Boeing’s uncrewed flight test is helping to solidify NASA’s long-term goals,” said Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “It’s critical we complete Starliner’s development without undue schedule pressure while working to position both Boeing and SpaceX for sustainable operations in the years ahead.”

The agency wants two companies to ferry astronauts. But delays to Starliner have prompted NASA to seek more rides from SpaceX.

“Our goal has always been to have multiple providers for crewed transportation to the space station,” said Phil McAllister, director of commercial space at NASA. “SpaceX has been reliably flying two NASA crewed missions per year, and now we must backfill those flights to help safely meet the agency’s long-term needs.”

Earlier this year, NASA purchased three additional missions from SpaceX for a total of 10 human missions but says it will now require five more from Elon Musk’s aerospace company.

So far, NASA has spent some $3.5 billion on development of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and rides for its astronauts to the station — not including these five planned additional missions.

SpaceX is currently the only company sending astronauts to the station and plans to launch another crew to the station early next year.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

GET THE LATEST
Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »

TOP