Space News reports that the recent vote by Congress to cut commercial crew funding by more than half may force NASA to choose a winner sooner than anticipated.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk thinks that works in his favor.
“I always expected that for the next phase, NASA would down-select from four (companies) to two and that the two would probably be Boeing and SpaceX. Given the lower funding for commercial crew, I’m not sure if NASA still intends to down-select to two or not. If they down-select to one, I think we’ve got a better than even chance of beating Boeing because of the maturity of our spacecraft,” SpaceX chief executive and chief technical officer Elon Musk said in an interview with Space News.
“We will have flown to the space station probably twice by the time the commercial crew decision is awarded, and the design of our spacecraft is very similar between cargo and crew, so I think from a risk standpoint, SpaceX is the lowest risk and will be the most proven path to success for commercial crew,” Musk said.
As for the next test flight of Dragon, Musk said SpaceX is "ready to go in December" but NASA may delay them until February due to other missions.