NASA Selects Crew for First Commercial Flight Test and Missions

NASA assigns crews to first test flights, missions on commercial spacecraft

NASA on Friday announced the first astronauts who will fly into space on USA -made commercial spacecraft - which will be the agency's first manned missions in years.

The astronauts will fly on the spacecraft developed by Elon Musk-owned SpaceX's Crew Dragon and global aviation firm Boeing's CST-100 Starliner, as part of the USA space agency's Commercial Crew programme to send humans to the ISS on private United States spacecraft.

Boeing's capsule will be manned during the test flight by Eric Boe and Christopher Ferguson, both shuttle missions veterans, and Nicole Aunapu Mann, at her first flight to space. In a statement, the agency said that additional crew members for those first post-certification missions "will be assigned by NASA's worldwide partners at a later date".

On Friday, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine introduced the nine astronauts, who will fly on the first four crewed missions using the new craft. "Today's announcement advances our great American vision and strengthens the nation's leadership in space", he added.

Both capsules will fly to the International Space Station on their first crewed test flights, blazing a trail for future crews to ride to and from the orbiting research complex on operational crew rotation missions, ending NASA's sole reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft for the job.

The move marks a significant shift in the US space program, which will now combine NASA-trained astronauts with private sector space capsules. Ferguson is the only non-NASA astronaut. Also onboard will be Air Force colonel Michael Hopkins, selected to be a NASA astronaut in 2009, and who has already spent 166 days on the International Space Station for Expeditions 37/38, along with conducting two spacewalks.

"The 7,000 women and men of SpaceX understand what a sacred honour this was, for us to be part of this program, and for us to fly you", said Gwynne Shotwell, the chief operating officer of SpaceX, at the Friday press conference. "To meet NASA's requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station". For SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft the astronauts will be: Robert Behnken, Douglas Hurley, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins. That followed his 1983 graduation from Henderson High School, in Chamblee, and his 1987 bachelor of science degree in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy - a degree he earned with both distinction and honors, according to his resume on nasa.gov.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia to step down following 2018 season
For Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, that day may be just around the bend. Scioscia was named the American League Manager of the Year in both 2002 and 2009.

For Mann, a former F-18 test pilot with the Marines, though, this will be her first space flight.

Josh Cassada, 45, will fly with Sunita ("Suni") Williams, 52, aboard NASA's first contracted Starliner mission.

The Boeing and SpaceX crewed test missions are arguably the most anticipated spaceship test flights this century.

Tech grad Eric Boe and fellow astronauts Chris Ferguson and Nicole Mann are to crew the Boeing Co.'s Starliner capsule, to be propelled by an Atlas V rocket.

Of the nine astronauts selected to serve as crew members, all but three are space flight veterans. NASA had originally expected the companies to have their spacecraft ready for missions to the International Space Station by the end of past year, but neither were able to meet that target.

The US space agency, meanwhile, is working on building rockets and spacecraft that could allow humans to return to the Moon in the coming decade.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Killed in Plane Crash in California Parking Lot
Although a auto in the lot was damaged, authorities said Sunday evening there appeared to be no injuries on the ground. A medical group has been established to handle patient care and treatment, said the Orange County Fire Authority.

Takeaways from day four of the Paul Manafort trial
Laporta said she knew what she did was "not appropriate", adding that "you can't pick and choose what's a loan and what's income". Such accounts must be reported to tax authorities if they contain $US10,000 or more .

Trade tensions weigh on oil prices
The US administration has vowed to impose sanctions on any company continuing to buy oil from Iran after the November 4 deadline. Between April and July India's oil imports from Iran has risen by an annual 40% to about 677 500 bpd, the data showed.

Sarri admits there is a big difference between Chelsea and Manchester City
Manchester City: Bravo 4, Walker 7, Stones 6, Laporte 6, Mendy 7, Sane 6, Bernardo 8, Fernandinho 6, Mahrez 7, Foden 7, Aguero 8. Football fans don't always pay too much attention to the Community Shield but this year's edition had an interesting subplot.

Iran prepares for major maneuvers in Arabian Gulf
They have also expressed concern about keeping open the waterways off Yemen where Iranian backed rebels have attacked oil tankers. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attends a news conference at the Chancellery in Vienna, July 4, 2018.

Khloe Kardashian Celebrates Good American Activewear Launch in NYC!
"I am sorry! much love today", Kardashian told her fans via social media after they called her out for using the offensive word. The Good American co-founder said True's personality is "so sweet" and "so girlie".

Read the transcript of the Smith College employee's call to campus police
Kanoute has demanded that Smith release the name of the staffer who called police on her, but the college has so far refused. That probe is being conducted by Sanghavi Law Office, which Hunter said will "conduct a thorough, external investigation".

Assassination by drone? Venezuela's President avoids plot to kill
The ANC urges the government of Venezuela to get to the bottom of these attacks and to do everything to arrest this scourge. One of the drones was to explode above the president while the other was to detonate directly in front of him, he added.

British Open: Georgia Hall claims first major victory
She became the first English player of either sex to win a major at Royal Lytham since Tony Jacklin won the 1969 British Open. Meanwhile, New Zealand's Ben Campbell holds a four shot lead after the second round of the Fiji International tournament.

PUBG Announces Mission: Impossible Event
And of course the first member of the team that people always talk about when it comes to killing one, it was Luther. Fallout had the series best opening at 61.5 million dollars in the US.

Facing deportation, U.S. Marine's wife leaves for Mexico
Trump has a "zero tolerance" immigration policy and ICE no longer exempts any undocumented immigrant from potential enforcement. On Friday morning she boarded a plane at the Orlando International Airport to Mexico.

Hitman is a good get for Xbox Game Pass
Additionally, Xbox One launch title Ryse: Son of Rome has also joined the program along with indie twin-stick shooter Ruiner . The remastered Xbox 360 Kinect supported game Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure is also available, alongside Dead Rising 2 .

Call Of Duty:Black Ops 4 Multiplayer Beta Can Now Be Preloaded
Thus far, we haven't seen the mode in action, but a trailer for the upcoming beta test offered us our first taste. The Call of Duty Black Ops 4 beta starts from August 3 at 10am PT (10:30pm IST) for PS4.

Head of Syria research centre killed in auto bombing
An Israeli government official declined to comment on reports of Asber's death when asked by the Reuters news agency. The research centre that Asber led in the western city of Masyaf has previously been targeted by air strikes.

Buzarnescu, Sakkari rally for spots in Silicon Valley final
She won four straight games in the second set to put pressure on Collins, and ultimately evened the match with a forehand victor . Mertens, bidding for her fourth title of the year, moves into a semi-final against fifth seeded Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Other news