Science

NASA announces crew for the first American spacecraft launches since 2011

NASA announces crew for the first American spacecraft launches since 2011”

NASA has announced the names of the nine astronauts who will make up the first four crews to travel into space from the United States since the retirement of its space shuttles seven years ago.

NASA also announced the astronauts for the first missions, which will be long-duration and dock with the International Space Station.

"This is a big deal for our country, and we want America to know we're back".

Friday, NASA said that if unmanned test flights go smoothly, the group of nine astronauts will fly before then, on the first test flight and mission of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon. (AP) In addition to naming the crews of the test flights, Nasa also announced today the four astronauts who will fly aboard the first operational Starliner and Dragon missions to the space station.

After a almost decadelong hiatus, NASA plans to once again start launching piloted spacecraft from American soil, this time aboard two commercially developed vehicles, beginning in early to mid-2019.

All around the world (and even in space), astronauts and non-astronauts alike continue to show their excitement and support for the talented individuals chosen for these groundbreaking missions.

Boeing and SpaceX were awarded contracts in 2014 worth a combined $6.8 billion to build the vehicles, which would enable the U.S.to use its own transportation systems - something it hasn't done since the space shuttle was retired in 2011.

Astronaut Doug Hurley, who will be on the Space X test flight, hinted at the delays when he noted at Friday's Johnson Space Center announcement: "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".

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner will be launched from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. He retired from NASA after commanding the final shuttle mission in 2011, and eventually joined Boeing to help develop Starliner. It will be Glover's first time in space. I've watched people and teams come together these last few years, and now we're getting close to space flight. Therefore, it's essential that Crew Dragon and Starliner be ready for operational flights by the 2020 deadline.

Glover and Cassada are spaceflight rookies. "Each test flight will provide data on the performance of the rockets, spacecraft, ground systems, and operations to ensure the systems are safe to fly astronauts", explained NASA in the statement. He has spent 166 days on the International Space Station for Expeditions 37/38, and conducted two spacewalks.

The Government Accountability Office said last month that launch plans could be delayed due to incomplete safety measures and accountability issues in NASA's commercial crew program.

A series of thruster firings propelled the Dragon capsule away from the space station, and the ship's Draco thrusters ignited at 5:23 p.m. EDT (2123 GMT) for a de-orbit burn. They're both the result of NASA's Commercial Crew Program: a almost 10-year-long, $8-billion effort to maintain access to orbit for USA astronauts. The launch window for the mission opens at 3:48 a.m EDT on August 11, 2018.



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