Science

NASA announces astronauts for first commercial spaceflights from U.S.

NASA announces astronauts for first commercial spaceflights from U.S.

NASA is announcing which astronauts will fly on the first commercial spaceships, now scheduled for next year. NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu Mann are slated for the test flight of Boeing's Starliner, accompanied by former NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, who now works as a commercial astronaut for Boeing. And it's now apparent that SpaceX is slightly ahead-it will conduct a crewed test flight in April of next year, while Boeing's crewed test is only scheduled for "mid-2019".

SpaceX did not give a reason for the delay of its first crewed test flight. He retired from NASA in 2011 and has been an integral part of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner program. Ferguson is the only non-NASA astronaut. In light of that, watching them train and then fly these missions over the next year or so should be fun for all involved. Two top Navy pilots, Josh Cassada and Suni Williams, will be on a subsequent Starliner flight ― considered the craft's first mission.

The SpaceX crewed test flight, now scheduled for April 2019, will be flown by NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley.

Last week, Boeing confirmed that it had a problem with its launch-abort system, which is created to ferry crews to safety in the event of an emergency. The engines fired successfully, but several valves failed to close, allowing toxic propellant to leak from the engine. "The result is that we'll have a better and safer spacecraft", he said. But that same propellant can be deadly to humans if not stored carefully.

"NASA is continuing to assess multiple scenarios to ensure continued USA access to the International Space Station", the space agency told Bloomberg.

The first crewed test flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule will include NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.

More astronauts will be announced to join the crews at a later date, NASA said. Williams previously logged 321 days in orbit on two stays aboard the space station, most recently returning to the Earth in 2012. Purchasing additional seats on the fly is apparently not an option because of the lead time it takes to construct new Soyuz capsules.

Both Crew Dragon and Starliner are created to carry four astronauts.

Researchers Off Kauai Discovered a Strange New Whale/Dolphin Hybrid
Soon after, they were able to get DNA, which led them to the definitive conclusion that it was indeed a hybrid of the two species. Baird continued to explain that the "morphological appearance" of the animal promoted researchers to get a biopsy sample.

Victor Glover, 42, and Michael Hopkins, 49, will fly on the first operational mission of SpaceX's crewed Dragon.

These four are certainly top contenders for the first two missions. He flew on two flights of the space shuttle including the final mission, Atlantis's STS-135. On Friday, the space agency introduced the nine-member team tasked with making the first flights. Additional crew members will be assigned by NASA's worldwide partners in the space station at a later date, the agency said. This will be his first spaceflight.

NASA contracted both companies to shuttle astronauts to and from the International Space Station following the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011.

The contracts for travel to the International Space Station were awarded in 2014.

The mission which ended Friday delivered 5,946 pounds (2,697 kilograms) of equipment, experiments and provisions to the orbiting research laboratory, including an AI-powered helper bot for the research lab's six-person crew, a spare hand for the Canadian robotic arm, and an externally-mounted NASA instrument to monitor the health of plants on Earth. "To meet NASA's requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station".

The Starliner will launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, and the Dragon will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center about 10 miles away. However, at least one source already disagrees.

It is on the subsequent missions that the crew capsules will head to the space station and dock.

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration. Just as in the past, all human launches will originate here on the space coast.


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