NASA Assigns Crews to First Commercial Spacecraft Flights

NASA Assigns Crews to First Commercial Spacecraft Flights

NASA Assigns Crews to First Commercial Spacecraft Flights

Once they receive the certification, NASA expects the companies to launch as many as six crews to the International Space Station.

Boe is one of nine people who were named as commercial crew astronauts during a ceremony Friday at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. While both companies had recently said they would conduct their first test flights with astronauts on board by the end of this year, those flights are now scheduled for 2019. According to Bloomberg, NASA will name the astronauts that will fly on the tests on Friday.

After years of vehicle development and building anticipation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has now put the crew in commercial crew spacecraft. He retired from NASA in 2011 and has been an integral part of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner program. What is not known is who gets to fly on which company's spacecraft, and on which flight they get to launch.

"Space has transformed the American way of life", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein said at the event.

This will be the first trip into space for Mr. Glover, Mr. Cassada and Ms. Mann.

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He logged more than 40 days in space.

On the first human test flight of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, NASA selected astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Mann to join Boeing executive Chris Ferguson.

A recent mission abort by Boeing resulted from leaking engine fuel, and USA astronauts have until now taken Russian Federation capsules to the space station - at a cost of up to $82m for a seat.

The first flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon is expected in April 2019, following an unmanned test in November, NASA said.

In all, eight astronauts will be assigned to initial test flights and missions to the International Space Station.

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Of the nine astronauts tapped to serve as crew members, all but three are space flight veterans.

"What we see now is a much great emphasis on safety", Ferguson said, regarding differences between the shuttle program. "Our commitment has always been to provide NASA and those crews the highest level of mission assurance", he said in the statement.

Lawmakers in Congress, however, insisted that NASA still needed to develop its own rocket and space capsule, called the Space Launch System.

In a recent report, the Government Accountability Office said that further delays in NASA's so-called "Commercial Crew" program could "disrupt access to" the space station, which would be an enormous embarrassment for NASA after investing about $100 billion to build and operate it. But the agency's image arguably peaked with Neil Armstrong's steps on the moon; and since then its grandeur has lagged, having fallen victim to a series of failed space missions, deep funding cuts to research, and changing political will. Mr. Hopkins logged 166 days aboard the space station in 2014. The spacecraft will dock and undock autonomously to the space station before flying their crew back to Earth.

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