Nasa names astronauts for first commercial flights

Mindy Sparks
August 5, 2018

NASA will announce the astronauts for the first test flights and missions of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft Friday.

If those missions go well, astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover will fly the first operational Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station, while astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada will fly the first operational CST-100 Starliner mission.

The astronauts will fly on two new spacecraft, the Starliner and Crew Dragon, which are being developed by Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX, respectively, as part of NASA's commercial crew program.

The chosen astronauts will be the first to conduct flight tests and missions on the Boeing Starliner and Space X crew dragon. He flew on a Space Shuttle Endeavour mission in 2008 and a Space Shuttle Discovery mission in 2011.

Of the 9 astronauts tapped to serve as crew members, all but 3 are space flight veterans.

"For the first time since 2011, we are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil, " said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who introduced the astronauts at Johnson Space Center in Houston in Friday.

This will be the first space shuttle launches from the U.S. since it retired its space shuttle in 2011.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell took a photo of the astronauts before assuring them: "We won't let you down".

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.

It is true, however, that SpaceX and Boeing are paying to use some facilities owned by NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

NASA has had to partner with Russian Federation to launch astronauts to the International Space Station since the space shuttle program ended. (BA) to the punch when it comes to flying astronauts to the International Space Station.

Finally, Nicole Aunapu Mann is a Marine Corps lieutenant, and will be making her first trip to space.

After announcing the crews, Bridenstine engaged in a largely lighthearted question-and-answer session with the selected astronauts, who expressed their delight in being selected and anticipation in flying on these next-generation vehicles. Williams has the most diverse space background of the astronauts named today, having flown on both the shuttle and Soyuz and served aboard the International Space Station for two long-duration expeditions in 2006 through 2007 and 2012. "This is a test pilot's dream". He has a doctorate in engineering and is a flight test engineer and colonel in the Air Force. It'll be his first spaceflight, though he has a wide range of experience with combat missions and testing aircraft. The first flight will be a test flight. He's spent almost 29 days in space. She is a retired Navy captain and test pilot and was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1998. The agency has doled out more than $8 billion in awards and contracts.

NASA seems confident these dates will hold, and that the commercial crew program is finally on the home stretch. "Our commitment has always been to provide NASA and those crews the highest level of mission assurance", he said in the statement.

After years of vehicle development and building anticipation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has now put the crew in commercial crew spacecraft.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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