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m3n4.net October 18, 2018


NASA announces astronauts for first Commercial Crew missions

05 August 2018, 02:01 | Brenda Erickson

NASA announces astronauts for first Commercial Crew missions

Astronaut Victor Glover raises his arms after being introduced during a NASA event to announce the astronauts assigned to crew the first flight tests and missions of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon Friday Aug. 3 2018 in Houston. Th

Behnken, Hurley, Boe and Sunita Williams have been training on SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner since July 2015. "I'm incredibly proud of the progress our team has made, and it has been inspiring to watch them work through challenges quickly, while developing a brand new human-rated spacecraft that Boeing, NASA and the nation can be proud of", Mulholland added. John Mulholland, vice president and program manager for Boeing's Commercial Crew effort, explained that the earliest the company can "confidently" do a manned flight test will be in mid-2019.

He said the announcement advances "our great American vision" and strengthens America's leadership in space.

All nine astronauts have military experience, and most are seasoned veterans of space. He flew aboard three shuttle missions, including the program's final mission in 2011.

U.S. astronauts have been relying on Russian capsules to travel to the space station, with each seat costing NASA as much as $82 million (€71 million).

Ferguson will fly with NASA astronauts Eric Boe, a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions, and Nicole Aunapu Mann on the first crewed test flight of Starliner, which is now projected to take place in mid-2019. "To meet NASA's requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station".

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Only seven astronauts in history have been the first to fly on a brand-new US spacecraft.

For Mann, a former F-18 test pilot with the Marines, though, this will be her first space flight.

The commercial crew members took to the stage during an event led by Bridenstine at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"For the first time since 2011, we are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil", he told the enthusiastic audience.

Glover, a former Navy commander and test pilot, was also among the 2013 astronaut class.

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NASA is expected to announce the crew assignments for the first missions for Boeing and SpaceX this morning, according to a release from the agency. Since her selection as an astronaut in 1998, she has spent 322 days aboard the International Space Station for Expeditions 14/15 and Expeditions 32/33, commanded the space station and performed seven spacewalks. In light of that, watching them train and then fly these missions over the next year or so should be fun for all involved.

When you think about who's in charge of cutting-edge spaceflight in 2018, SpaceX is probably the first name that comes to mind. "As a test pilot, it doesn't get any better than this".

NASA's continuous presence on the space station for nearly 18 years has enabled technology demonstrations and research in biology and biotechnology, Earth and space science, human health, physical sciences.

"What an exciting and fantastic day", Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator, said at the announcement at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "It will be thrilling to see our astronauts lift off from American soil, and we can't wait to see them aboard the International Space Station". When he was in high school, Ferguson became "intrigued" with joining the Navy and flying jets, he said.

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