These Astronauts Will Fly SpaceX, Boeing Spacecraft to the ISS

These Astronauts Will Fly SpaceX, Boeing Spacecraft to the ISS

These Astronauts Will Fly SpaceX, Boeing Spacecraft to the ISS

The announcement is a milestone in the USA space programme, with its shift to the private sector for ferrying cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX is targeting November for its inaugural Crew Dragon test flight, but Boeing won't launch its passenger spacecraft Starliner until late this year or early next.

The timetable for the launches was supposed to have been for test flights to take place before the end of 2018, but both companies have faced technical issues that may delay that into 2019. "Today's announcement advances our great American vision and strengthens the nation's leadership in space".

The successful flight marked the scheduled end of the 30-year space shuttle program.

The program's core goals are to get an American-made ships able reach the International Space Station (ISS), plus reduce or eliminate USA reliance on Russia's ever-more-expensive Soyuz spaceships to get there.

On Friday, NASA announced the astronauts that will fly on the first flights of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's crewed Dragon capsule.

Maintaining the International Space Station costs the federal government up to $4 billion a year, and NASA is working on plans to privatize it. Boeing and Space Adventures, the US company that arranged space tourist flights on Russian Soyuz spacecraft, have a partnership that could allow paying passengers to ride in a fifth seat on CST-100 missions for shorter-duration missions.

Joining Ferguson on the maiden flight will be Eric Boe, a former shuttle pilot, and Nicole Aunapu Mann, who will make her first trip into space. NASA also named today the astronauts for those flights: Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins will fly aboard the first operational Crew Dragon, while John Cassada and Sunita Williams will fly aboard the first operational Starliner. Crew members have worked years with companies to get here and they said they can not wait for the flights to begin next year.

This will be the first space shuttle launches from the U.S. since it retired its space shuttle in 2011. He commanded the final shuttle mission in 2011 and retired from NASA that same year.

"The first flight is something you dream about as a test pilot, you know, and you don't think it's ever going to happen to you", Hurley said. Ferguson is a former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander who now works on Boeing's Starliner program.

Some of the newly named crew, like Cassada, joined NASA expecting to fly on Soyuz spacecraft before any new American ship.

"This accomplished group of American astronauts, flying on new spacecraft developed by our commercial partners Boeing and SpaceX, will launch a new era of human spaceflight", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.

Since 2011, the United States has relied on Russian Federation to ferry astronauts to the space station. She has logged 322 days in space. He is a Navy commander and test pilot with more than 3,500 flight hours in more than 40 aircraft. That will include Canada, Europe and Japan, who have traditionally relied on NASA for ISS transportation.

The demonstration flights by Boeing and SpaceX will spend a short period in orbit before coming straight back to Earth.

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