NASA announces crew for commercial spaceships

08 August, 2018, 21:33 | Author: Sidney Guerrero
  • Starliner and Crew Dragon

This will be the first space shuttle launches from the U.S. since it retired its space shuttle in 2011. In fact, NASA is paying Boeing and SpaceX billions to fly Americans to and from the International Space Station. Now, we know the names of those launches' first passengers.

Nine astronauts, including an experienced space veteran from Needham, have been tapped to help shepherd in a new phase of the nation's space program, and will be the first to staff flights and missions in a new crop of commercially made spacecraft.

"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. Using American-made spacecrafts and launching from the United States soil is a more affordable option for the US. "I'll tell you, being able to launch to the International Space Station from USA soil, I can't imagine better", Cassada said.

Several of the selected astronauts are shuttle program veterans. Robert Behnken, a former Air Force colonel, will join former Marine Corps colonel Douglas Hurley on the Crew Dragon test flight. It will be Mr. Glover's first time in space. "I'm just grateful to be able to usher in this new era of American spaceflight".

The Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida in late 2019. Both have been in the astronaut corps since 2000; combined, the duo has four Space Shuttle missions and more than 58 days of spaceflight between them. "Thank you very much-we take it seriously, and we won't let you down".

After each company successfully completes its crewed test flight, NASA will begin the final process of certifying that spacecraft and systems for regular crew missions to the space station.

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Josh Cassada, a Navy commander and test pilot, and Sunita Williams, a retired Navy captain and test pilot, will fly the Boeing-built spacecraft for its initial crewed mission to the orbiting laboratory.

June 30, 2011-NASA's space shuttle has been an icon of the US space program for the past 30 years. Four new astronaut crew mates learned about their commercial crew assignments. She was selected as an astronaut in 1998, and went on spend 322 days aboard the ISS, commanded the space station and performed seven spacewalks.

"The first flight is something you dream about as a test pilot and you don't think it's ever going to happen to you, and it looks like it might", Hurley said, to which Bridenstine said, "Oh it better".

"The engineer in me always thought if I'm not flying a spaceship, I ought to be part of the team building one", Ferguson said. He's performed six spacewalks totaling almost 40 hours.

NASA paid seed money to SpaceX and Boeing to incentivize them to develop the crew capsules, picking up where the shuttle program left off. The group includes eight current NASA astronauts and one Boeing astronaut.

The space agency has reason to be eager. Mann will also make history as the first female astronaut on the inaugural crewed flight of a new USA spacecraft. After that, the space agency has no guaranteed way to get its astronauts into low-Earth orbit. And NASA could not be more excited.



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