Science

NASA replaces astronaut on Boeing's 1st crew launch

NASA replaces astronaut on Boeing's 1st crew launch”

On Tuesday, NASA confirmed in a press release that E. Michael "Mike" Fincke will replace Boe on the Starliner crew mission, which is set to launch in late 2019. Both companies plan an unpiloted test flight followed by an initial crewed test launch later this year.

In a new announcement, NASA reveals that it is swapping out one of the astronauts expected to participate in the very first manned flight of the Boeing Starliner ship, which will ferry travelers to and from the International Space Station. Three shuttle astronauts also were reassigned due to medical issues. Boe will take over Fincke's previous position as assistant to the chief of the astronaut office for commercial crew.

NASA astronaut Mike Fincke.

Astronauts Robert Behnken, a two-flight shuttle veteran and former chief of NASA's astronaut office, and Doug Hurley, Ferguson's co-pilot for the final shuttle mission, were assigned to the first piloted flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.

Perhaps the most famous medical-related crew shuffle was Apollo 13, when Ken Mattingly was removed from the crew just three days before launch when he was exposed to the German measles - which he never contracted.

Four years later, Fincke launched to space for the second time as Commander of Expedition 18.

Fincke joins astronauts Nicole Mann from NASA and Chris Ferguson from Boeing for the mission.

He went on to serve as Commander of the NEEMO 2 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) underwater mission in May 2002 before he was assigned to his first spaceflight as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 9 to the International Space Station. Assuming the tests go as planned, SpaceX and Boeing would proceed with regular space taxi flights to and from the station.

Two-time space shuttle pilot Boe was selected to be involved in the test flight a year ago, however, he will now be unable to fly, according to the space agency. They were on the same shuttle flight in 2008 during station construction. Meanwhile, Fincke has only taken part in one space shuttle mission as Mission Specialist on Endeavour's final voyage, however, he has spent more than 381 days in space, completing over 48 hours of spacewalks.

NASA astronaut Eric Boe has been removed from the test flight of Boeing's Starliner crew transport spacecraft-which is scheduled for no earlier than August 2019-because of a "medical issue".



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