NASA Taps Astronauts for Commercial Flights

Here's Why Boeing Used an Inflatable Spaceship to Test'Starliner Landing Recovery Plans

Here's Why Boeing Used an Inflatable Spaceship to Test'Starliner Landing Recovery Plans

The first crew to be presented was that of the Boeing Starliner capsule, which will make a trial flight scheduled for mid-2019 and will be boosted into space from Florida's Kennedy Space Center by an Atlas V rocket of the United Launch Alliance. Some, however, deem that target ambitious.

"What an exciting and unbelievable day", Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator, said at the announcement at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Trump's statement that NASA is making a "BIG comeback" under his administration could be referring to the three Space Policy Directives Trump has issued over the last six months.

The first commercial crew astronauts From left: Sunita Williams, Josh Cassada, Eric Boe, Nicole Mann, Christopher Ferguson, Douglas Hurley, Robert Behnken, Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover. The group includes eight current NASA astronauts and one Boeing astronaut.

In a ceremony at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the space agency revealed nine astronauts assigned to the first four crewed flights of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsules. It will be Mr. Glover's first time in space. That flight is now projected to lift off in April of 2019. It would be the first space trip for Mann. Williams has already spent more than 300 days in space.

In a recent report, the Government Accountability Office said that further delays in NASA's so-called "Commercial Crew" program could "disrupt access to" the space station, which would be an enormous embarrassment for NASA after investing about $100 billion to build and operate it.

Today, NASA moved another inch closer. Mr. Hopkins logged 166 days aboard the space station in 2014. But the agency's image arguably peaked with Neil Armstrong's steps on the moon; and since then its grandeur has lagged, having fallen victim to a series of failed space missions, deep funding cuts to research, and changing political will.

The seven men and two women pumped their fists in the air and gave thumbs ups as they strode onto the stage to cheers from the crowd.

Eric Boe: Boe was born in Florida and grew up in Atlanta. He made 400 carrier landings and flew 24 combat missions.

"It's absolutely an opportunity of a lifetime", said Mann, who was selected as an astronaut in 2013.

The successful flight marked the scheduled end of the 30-year space shuttle program. She has a master's in mechanical engineering.

"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". She was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in 2013.

Suni Williams: Williams was chosen as an astronaut in 1998 after a career in the Navy. He went to space again during Discovery's last mission in 2011.

Nasa took the decision after the shuttle retired to turn transportation to low-Earth obit destinations into a service that it could buy.

NASA has worked closely with the companies throughout design, development and testing to ensure the systems meet its safety and performance requirements. He has a doctorate in engineering and is a flight test engineer and colonel in the Air Force. He was chosen as an astronaut in 2000.

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