NASA to announce new astronaut class on Friday

NASA to announce new astronaut class on Friday

NASA to announce new astronaut class on Friday

"Predicting launch dates can make a liar out of every one of us", acknowledged Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX.

The first US astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station, waving after being announced, (left to right) Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, Nicole Aunapu Mann, Chris Ferguson, Eric Boe, Josh Cassada, and Suni Williamson at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas on August 3. "A small investment from the American taxpayer has paid dividends to the point now where space has transformed the lives of not only every American, but every person on the face of the planet in so many ways that people usually don't even recognize it".

Josh Cassada, 45, will fly with Sunita ("Suni") Williams, 52, aboard NASA's first contracted Starliner mission.

Chris Ferguson, former NASA astronaut and commander of NASA's shuttle flight in 2011.

Glover is the fourth Cal Poly graduate to become an astronaut.

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. Bob Behnken of the Air Force and Doug Hurley, a retired Marine Corps colonel.

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"NASA, which is making a BIG comeback under the Trump Administration, has just named 9 astronauts for Boeing and Spacex space flights, "Trump wrote on Twitter". Her sister Dina said that the family is proud of her achievements.

For Crew Dragon, the now confirmed crew includes Navy commander, aviator, and test pilot Victor Glover.

NASA on Thursday said it expects SpaceX to fly its first astronauts in April of 2019 and Boeing will follow, launching astronauts into space in the middle of next year. Cassada is a rookie astronaut selected in 2013, while Williams, the fourth astronaut selected for commercial crew training, has spent 322 days in space on two long-duration station missions.

Seven men and four women will be go into orbit on crew capsules built by Boeing and SpaceX. Thank you. We take it very seriously. "To meet NASA's requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station".

Boeing has settled for a squat looking Starliner craft that resembles an Apollo-style capsule NASA used for its moon missions, meanwhile SpaceX has modified its roomier-looking Dragon cargo ship to ferry astronauts to the ISS. No female astronaut has logged more spacewalk time.

"I'm just really excited we're going to be able to take these spacecraft and show them off to our global partners", Williams told the crowd.

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During the manned tests, the astronauts will be able to use the displays inside the spacecraft, communicate with mission control and practise manual controls during flight. NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins would fly Dragon's first operational mission to the space station.

SpaceX, however, did move up the uncrewed test flight of its Dragon spacecraft from December to November of this year.

Both vehicles are capable of reaching the ISS autonomously, and will do so and return to Earth before humans climb aboard. Boeing and SpaceX were selected in September 2014 as the companies who would have the privilege to transport NASA's astronauts to the orbiting laboratory. As the other astronauts donned NASA patches on their blue jumpsuits, Ferguson wore a Boeing applique.

The space agency has reason to be eager.

Most have previous experience in orbit.

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