Thursday, March 29, 2012
SpaceX, Aiming At Carrying NASA Crews, Names Safety Panel
Not content to simply carry cargo to the International Space Station, Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies said Thursday afternoon that it has assembled an outside, independent safety advisory panel which will help it achieve its goal of carrying astronauts to the Space Station. The company--run by technology mogul Elon Musk--said it has added Dr. Leroy Chiao, former NASA astronaut and ISS commander; Dr. G. Scott Hubbard, Former Director of NASA Ames Research Center, Stanford University professor, and the sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board; Dr. Richard T. Jennings, MD, MS, former Chief of Medicine for NASA Johnson Space Center; Captain Mark Kelly, former NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle commander; and Dr. Edward Lu, former NASA astronaut to the panel. SpaceX said the panel will convene in the fall and continue its work "well after SpaceX begins flying people to space." SpaceX has been lobbying to qualify to send astronauts into space with its systems, saying that it is able to deliver astronauts into orbit at a far cheaper cost than relying on Russian rocketships, and with equivalent or better safety.