NASA chief and SpaceX’s Elon Musk mend fences

Jim Bridenstine at SpaceX
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (center) participates in a Crew Dragon flight simulation at SpaceX’s California headquarters with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is peering over Bridenstine’s shoulder. (NASA Photo / Aubrey Gemignani)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine visited SpaceX’s headquarters in California today, for what was seen as an opportunity to smooth over differences and update expectations for SpaceX’s first-ever crewed spaceflight.

Over the past few years, the first flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts aboard has been repeatedly rescheduled, leading to moments of frustration for Bridenstine. But after meeting with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and others at the company’s facilities in Hawthorne, Calif., the NASA chief suggested the goal was in sight.

“If everything goes according to plan, it will be in the first quarter of next year,” Bridenstine told reporters.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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