Science

Nasa names astronauts for first commercial flights

Nasa names astronauts for first commercial flights”

Sunita Williams, the Indian origin U.S. astronaut, will be among the nine astronauts who would fly the first missions into space on commercially provided rockets and capsules, beginning 2019.

Sunita Williams, the 52-year-old Indian-origin astronaut, will fly on Starliner's first mission with Josh Cassada. Public and private entities joining forces for these proto flights means the crewed test phase could be of the most monumental leaps in human spaceflight since NASA's Space Shuttle Program was retired in 2011.

SpaceX's first crewed test flight on the Crew Dragon will be flown by astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley in April 2019.

SpaceX and Boeing are planning a test flight of their capsules by the end of this year or early 2019.

According to NASA website, Williams - a veteran of two space mission expeditions - is now training for the first post-certification mission of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft - the second crewed flight for that vehicle - and her third long duration mission aboard the International Space Station.

NASA's Commercial Crew Program is facilitating the development of a USA commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit. This effort from NASA to put crew in commercial crew spacecraft comes after years of vehicle development and building anticipation.

SpaceX's crewed Dragon capsule will launch atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

The astronauts for the Crew Dragon test mission include Robert Behnken, a flight test engineer and colonel in the Air Force who joined the astronaut corps in 2000 and Douglas Hurley, a former test pilot and colonel in the Marine Corps who joined NASA in 2000. Meanwhile, the space agency has turned its attention to developing the Space Launch System launch vehicle and Orion spacecraft that could travel to the Moon or Mars.

The SpaceX rocket will be crewed by Dr.

As for the CST-100 Starliner, the uncrewed test flight will happen at the end of this year, or early 2019, so this would mean that the manned test flight will be in mid-2019.

NASA says that its astronauts will be joined by other worldwide crew members, to be announced later on. This will be her first trip to space. Ferguson is the veteran of three space shuttle missions. Among them are the commander and pilot of the final shuttle mission in 2011. These test flights will provide invaluable data on how rockets, ground systems, operations and the spacecraft themselves perform. "Both partners said they really wanted to have an uncrewed flight test to make sure the integrated rockets, spacecraft and re-entry systems are all working as created to be able to ensure the integrated system is functioning".

Since 2011, the United States has relied on Russian Federation to ferry astronauts to the space station. It'll be his first spaceflight, though he has a wide range of experience with combat missions and testing aircraft. This will be Mann's first launch, having joined the astronaut corps in 2013.

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, who has commanded the space station and spent 322 days there. NASA picked Crew Dragon and Starliner to replace the space shuttle for ISS transportation back in 2014.



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