NASA Introduces Nine Astronauts for First Commercial Flights

NASA Introduces Nine Astronauts for First Commercial Flights

NASA Introduces Nine Astronauts for First Commercial Flights

SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft came back to Earth on Friday after completion of its mission of supplying cargo to the International Space Station. He is a colonel in the Air Force, where he was a flight test engineer before being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009.

The Boeing Starliner test flight will see the craft launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. Some, however, deem that target ambitious.

"We are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during the "Launch America" announcement. In between them, the astronauts have decades of space experience, including as members of the now-retired space shuttle. Since then, NASA has been dependent on Russia's Soyuz rockets and spacecraft, paying upward of $70 million per seat to fly Americans to and from the ISS. Now the pair will be among those who usher in a new era for NASA.

Ferguson, who grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and graduated from Archbishop Ryan High School and Drexel University, is one of nine astronauts chosen by NASA to fly to and from the International Space Station on commercial spacecraft made by Boeing and SpaceX next year.

SpaceX's first crewed test flight on the Crew Dragon will be flown by astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley in April 2019.

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Meanwhile, Boeing's first manned spaceflight of the Starliner vehicle is now scheduled for mid-2019, the Inquisitr reported yesterday. It would be the first space trip for Mann.

Josh Cassada, 45, will fly with Sunita ("Suni") Williams, 52, aboard NASA's first contracted Starliner mission. Williams has already spent more than 300 days in space.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, 48, and Douglas Hurley, 51, will fly together as SpaceX's first Crew Dragon crew. It will be Glover's first mission. Initially, all four crew members trained on both vehicles, but with flights just a year away, NASA is now assigning the crew to specific missions.

Several of the selected astronauts are shuttle program veterans. The astronauts have been training with SpaceX and Boeing, on top of their NASA work, ever since. Each ship requires two crewed test launches before NASA will certify it for routine flight.

Maintaining the I.S.S. costs the federal government up to $4 billion a year, and NASA is working on plans to privatize it. I'm honored to represent the entire #Boeing team and our commitment to the future of human space exploration.

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American space, at a ceremony to present the nine astronauts (seven men and two women) from Houston, Texas.

Michael Hopkins was born in Lebanon, Missouri, and grew up on a farm near Richland, Missouri. While in the Air Force, he flew in 55 combat missions over Iraq. He piloted space shuttle Endeavor for STS-127 and Atlantis for STS-135, the final space shuttle mission. She has a master's in mechanical engineering.

Williams said in Friday's interview that the new mission was "a test pilot's dream".

He'll be joined by Christoner Ferguson, a retired Navy captain. He has logged more than 40 days in space across three space shuttle missions. "We're returning to a full-capability ascent abort system to keep astronauts safe all the way through the profile, and that's something that the shuttle didn't have".

NASA has worked closely with the companies throughout design, development and testing to ensure the systems meet its safety and performance requirements.

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