NASA announces crew for commercial spaceships

Mindy Sparks
August 4, 2018

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.

NASA named nine astronauts who will be on the first space flights launched from USA soil since the shuttle program ended in 2011. The test flights with crew will take place mid-2019, NASA said. Boeing said only that it would fly NASA's astronauts by the middle of next year. "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. 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 Bridenstine said during the event.

The first commercial crew astronauts From left: Sunita Williams, Josh Cassada, Eric Boe, Nicole Mann, Christopher Ferguson, Douglas Hurley, Robert Behnken, Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover.

Boe is a former shuttle pilot; Mann will be making her first trip into space. Ms. Williams previously logged 321 days in orbit on two stays aboard the space station, most recently returning to the Earth in 2012.

The astronauts will fly Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon. American astronauts have still traveled to space, but they've used Russia's Soyuz spacecraft at a cost of about $80 million per seat.


Both vehicles will launch from Florida - Boeing's Starliner, boosted by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and SpaceX's Dragon from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

The astronauts assigned to crew the first flight tests and missions of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon acknowledge the media upon introduction at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, U.S., August 3, 2018.

Victor Glover: Glover was selected as an astronaut in 2013 after a career in the Navy as a test pilot.

The successful flight marked the scheduled end of the 30-year space shuttle program. He was a test pilot and colonel in the Marine Corps before coming to NASA in 2000 to become an astronaut.

Elon Musk's SpaceX is going to start putting people on its test flights in April next year, ahead of Boeing, NASA has revealed in a schedule published Thursday. "To meet NASA's requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station". She has logged 322 days in space.

Boeing's and SpaceX's commercial spacecraft may also open the space station - and more broadly, Earth orbit - to more privately-funded visitors and spaceflight participants from countries that do not have their own domestic crewed spacecraft and rockets.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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