These Astronauts Will Fly SpaceX, Boeing Spacecraft to the ISS

09 August, 2018, 02:09 | Author: Emilio Conner
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On July 8, 2011, the space shuttle Atlantis launched from Kennedy Space Center, marking the last time a USA astronaut was launched into space from American soil. He piloted space shuttle Endeavor for STS-127 and Atlantis for STS-135, the final space shuttle mission.

NASA today announced the names of nine USA astronauts who will be the first to ride to the International Space Station on private spacecraft made by Boeing and SpaceX.

"This is just the beginning of the missions that this country is embarking upon.", says Geyer, "We are ready to assign the crews for the first flights, but the launch is only the beginning". Using American-made spacecrafts and launching from the USA soil is a more affordable option for the US.

The research taking place on the International Space Station is providing valuable information and breakthroughs for life on the ground.

"The first flight is something you dream about as a test pilot", said Hurley, who flew on the last shuttle mission. It will be the third trip to space for both Behnken and Hurley. The uncrewed test is planned for November; the test flight with crew aboard is set for April 2019.

"It's absolutely the opportunity of a lifetime", said Mann.

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule is expected to undergo an uncrewed test flight sometime later this year or early next year, with a crew test flight in the middle of 2019.

The nine astronauts - seven men and two women - waved and pumped their fists into the air as they appeared on stage to cheers from the crowd. "Thank you very much-we take it seriously, and we won't let you down".

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Mr. Behnken, Mr. Hurley, Mr. Boe and Ms. Mann are NASA's first astronauts to be named to the test flights of new USA spacecraft since the March 1978 announcement of the space shuttle's first orbital flight test crews. Success in these missions means that the Boeing and SpaceX spacecraft could start regular servicing missions to the ISS. "Williams" family is upbeat about her space hat-trick. "That's going to help all of us understand how to live and work in space". Astronauts have since been flown to the ISS aboard Russian rockets launched in Kazakhstan. He has spent 166 days on the International Space Station for Expeditions 37/38, and conducted two spacewalks. Williams came to NASA from the Navy, where she was a test pilot and rose to the rank of captain before retiring. He's performed six spacewalks totaling almost 40 hours.

It was back in September 2014 when NASA first announced that SpaceX and Boeing would fly NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The group includes eight current NASA astronauts and one Boeing astronaut.

The space agency has reason to be eager.

The two pairs of NASA crewmates will fly to the station with Russian cosmonauts and global astronauts to be announced at a later date. After that, the space agency has no guaranteed way to get its astronauts into low-Earth orbit. And NASA could not be more excited.

Despite the fanfare around Friday's presentation, the Commercial Crew program has endured years of delays.

After successful completion of the flight tests with crew, NASA will review flight data to verify the systems meet the agency's safety and performance certification requirements. Both vehicles were developed in cooperation with NASA to deliver crew members to and from the orbiting laboratory. And, according to Nasa Spaceflight, it has landed successfully on August 3, on the Pacific Ocean in local time.

Boeing has since identified the problem, he said, and is working to fix it. The announcement will be aired at 11 a.m. EDT on NASA Television. And on Thursday, SpaceNews reported that the companies' timelines would slip three to four more months.

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