Science

Trump Hails Astronauts That Will Fly on SpaceX and Boeing Spaceships

Trump Hails Astronauts That Will Fly on SpaceX and Boeing Spaceships”

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.

The former Yellow Jacket has been working with both companies since 2015, developing and testing spacecraft that will eventually launch Americans into space from USA soil for the first time since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

"Space has transformed the American way of life", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein said at the event. "Today's announcement advances our great American vision and strengthens the nation's leadership in space". NASA's last space shuttle mission, the STS-135 flight coincidently commanded by Boeing's Ferguson, flew in July 2011.

When NASA selected these four astronauts to train for commercial crew vehicles, they expressed their excitement for the future of manned flight.

"NASA's Commercial Crew Program will return human spaceflight launches to USA soil, providing safe, reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems that meet our safety and mission requirements", said the official blog. Since then, every nation on Earth has relied on Russian Federation to get to the International Space Station.

Boeing aims to launch a CST-100 Starliner capsule on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in mid-2019, carrying a three-person crew: NASA's Eric Boe and Nicole Mann and Boeing's own Chris Ferguson. The Crew Dragon spacecraft will launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Recent delays have pushed back the first flights of the Starliner and crewed Dragon to 2019, with uncrewed test flights hopefully happening in November for SpaceX or late this year, early next year for Boeing. Boe will be making his third trip to space.

The crews would fly on spacecraft developed not by NASA, but by two corporations, SpaceX and Boeing, which are under contract to provide a taxi-like service to the International Space Station.

Bridenstine on Friday also announced the two NASA crew members who will fly each capsule's first operational mission, joined by pairs of global astronauts to be named later. Mr. Ferguson will become the first former NASA astronaut to return to orbit as a company's crew member when he flies. He began his career at NASA in 2000 and piloted two space shuttle missions, one on Endeavor in 2009 and the final shuttle mission on Atlantis in 2011.

Glover joined the astronaut corps in 2013; he is a U.S. Navy commander and test pilot with nearly 3,000 flight hours logged in more than 40 different aircraft.

Cassada, a Navy commander and test pilot, joined the astronaut corps in 2013; the launch will be his first. She has spent 322 days in orbit during two missions to the space station.

Since 2010, that program has inched along, moving ever-closer to crewed and uncrewed test flights.

NASA has announced the first astronauts who will head to the International Space Station on a commercially built spacecraft.

NASA says commercial transportation to and from the space stations will enable expanded station use, additional research time and broader opportunities of discovery aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Additional crew members will be assigned by NASA's worldwide partners at a later date.



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