Cal Poly alum among NASA astronauts assigned to first commercial space flights

Mindy Sparks
August 6, 2018

The first astronauts to fly to the International Space Station aboard privately developed and built commercial spacecraft will be announced by NASA today. (BA) to the punch when it comes to flying astronauts to the International Space Station.

The space agency has partnered with Boeing and SpaceX to develop the Starliner spacecraft to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and the Crew Dragon launching atop the Falcon 9 rocket, respectively. Some, however, deem that target ambitious.

Leading up to the a ceremony at the Johnson Space Center here, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said it was a historic moment for the space agency, saying: "We are going to launch American astronauts from American soil".

The CST-100 test flight will also include Christopher Ferguson, a former NASA astronaut and current Boeing commercial astronaut. Boeing said only that it would fly NASA's astronauts by the middle of next year.

But NASA's options may be limited by the worldwide agreements that established the station in 1998.

America, meet your new astronauts.

NASA today announced the names of nine U.S. astronauts who will be the first to ride to the International Space Station on private spacecraft made by Boeing and SpaceX.

Also, flying on the first crewed test flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft will be Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. That flight is now projected to lift off in April of 2019. Behnken has been in space on two previous occasions. He's spent almost 29 days in space. Sunita Williams, the Indian origin USA astronaut, will be among the nine astronauts who would fly the first missions into space on commercially provided rockets and capsules, beginning 2019. It will be Glover's first mission. Ferguson, a former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander, is Boeing's director of crew and mission systems.

NASA's deal with Russian Federation is due to run out at the end of the decade, and delays faced by SpaceX and Boeing have the firms bumping up close against deadlines. Though that will require final certification for International Space Station deliveries first, the space agency has already confirmed partial crews for those first missions.

Most have previous experience in orbit.

The new SpaceX and Boeing launch and entry spacesuits are displayed as NASA announces the crew assignments for the first flight tests missions of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston Texa
Astronauts picked for SpaceX, Boeing capsule test flights

The seven men and two women pumped their fists in the air and gave thumbs-up as they strode onto the stage to cheers from the crowd.

He'll be joined by Christoner Ferguson, a retired Navy captain.

Team Boeing consists of retired Air Force Col. Williams was listed as an entrant for the 2007 in Boston and completed the distance in distance in four hours and 24 minutes.In 2008, Williams participated in the Boston Marathon again, this time on Earth.

Three of the chosen astronauts joined the corps in 2013, which was before the commercial partnership was announced. He flew on Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2008 with fellow Georgia Tech graduates Sandy Magnus and Shane Kimbrough.

Boe is a former shuttle pilot; Mann will be making her first trip into space. She has a master's in mechanical engineering.

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

Josh Cassada: Coming to NASA after a career as a test pilot in the Navy, Cassada was chosen as an astronaut in 2013.

NASA selected Boe as a pilot in 2000 and he's notched more than 28 days in space. He went to space again during Discovery's last mission in 2011. In a call with reporters this week, John Mulholland, Boeing's program manager, said that several of the valves failed to fully close, resulting in a propellant leak.

Bob Behnken: Behnken is a native of St. Ann, Missouri. He is a colonel in the Air Force, where he was a flight test engineer before being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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