NASA to announce first astronauts to fly SpaceX and Boeing ships

NASA-Boeing-Astronauts

NASA-Boeing-Astronauts

SpaceX holds a separate NASA contract to make uncrewed resupply runs to and from the ISS, using its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon.

Boeing has already identified the problems, and "our team is off fixing those problems", Mulholland said.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, "When the United States of America invests in NASA, it always comes back multi-fold, and it increases the standard of living for everybody on the planet".

"Tomorrow we will meet the astronauts who will be the first to fly the CST-100 Starliner".

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Boeing announced today that the uncrewed test flight of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle will slip to the end of 2018 or early 2019, and the crewed test flight will not take place until mid-2019. Under the Barack Obama administration, NASA's Earth Science program saw its biggest growth spurt, and this was because of climate change and the anthropogenic causes of climate change, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. On the right, NASA astronauts conduct a fully-suited exercise in Boeing's CST-100 Starliner mock-up trainer in early May at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The event is huge because the last American spacecraft was retired in 2011 and ever since that day, NASA had to rely on Russia's Soyuz spaceships to get to the ISS (the International Space Station). As part of the Commercial Crew Program's public-private partnership, both companies are fine-tuning their designs, integrating hardware, and testing their crew spacecraft and rockets to prepare for test flights. Flights without any people are expected before the end of 2018, followed by two crewed missions sometime in 2019.

Although both Boeing and SpaceX still have a few milestones to reach before the launch of their respective astronaut-ferrying spacecraft, NASA is already looking ahead at resuming US -based crewed spaceflights.

[I] t is possible that neither contractor would be ready [to fly a US crew to the ISS] until August 2020, leaving a potential gap in access [to the ISS] of at least 9 months. A July 11 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office noted that NASA's internal projections offered a "zero percent chance" the companies would be certified for routine ISS missions in early 2019, as official schedules at the time expected.

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These astronauts will be the first to launch on vehicles owned by commercial companies.

The space agency also confirmed Boeing's plan to put off its first crewed space taxi mission until mid-2019, and geared up to announce who'd be on the first space taxi flights for SpaceX's Crew Dragon as well as Boeing's Starliner.

Among the options being considered by NASA is to use the crewed flight test as a crew rotation flight by adding a third astronaut to the mission and extending its stay from two weeks to as long as six months.

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