NASA Introduces Nine Astronauts for First Commercial Flights

SpaceX Dragon

On board Starliner's first extended mission will be NASA veteran Sunita Williams, a retired Navy captain and one of the most experienced American astronauts in history, and Josh Cassada, a Navy pilot making his first flight to space.

Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing's defense, space and security business, said in a statement published Friday the company is proud to have Ferguson as part of the first Starliner crew.

Astronaut Doug Hurley, who will be on the first crew of the SpaceX Dragon, hinted at the delays when he noted, "The first flight is something you dream about as a test pilot, and you don't think it's ever going to happen to you". For the first actual Crew Dragon mission, Victor Glover will undertake his first spaceflight alongside seasoned astronaut Michael Hopkins, who has spent 166 days aboard the space station.

NASA ended the shuttle program seven years ago after 135 missions as the space agency shifted its priorities to developing hardware for deep space travel. The department released an alarming report that indicated the agency could see its Commercial Crew Program delayed resulting in a loss of access to the International Space Station (ISS) for nine months or possibly more. NASA has worked closely with the companies throughout design, development and testing to ensure the systems meet NASA's safety and performance requirements. Since then, the space agency has turned to private space firms, like SpaceX, to oversee cargo runs to the ISS, while sending USA astronauts there on Russian rockets.

For SpaceX's Crew Dragon, the uncrewed mission has been designated Demo-1, and it will take off with the help of a Falcon 9 rocket from Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Additional crew members will be assigned by NASA's worldwide partners at a later date. Boe piloted space shuttle Endeavour and Discovery on its final flight, Ferguson piloted and commanded Atlantis and commanded Endeavour, Hurley piloted Endeavor and Atlantis, and Behnken flew aboard space shuttle Endeavour twice. This will be Ms. Mann's first launch, having joined the astronaut corps in 2013.

Bachelorette Becca Kufrin on fiance Garrett Yrigoyen's racist, transphobic past
Yrigoyen deleted his old Instagram account shortly after the posts were made public and issued an apology on a new profile. Another detail left out of this segment? As the show unfolded, Becca was conflicted over who to choose.

SpaceX is gearing up to send humans into space for the first time. Since then, every nation on Earth has relied on Russian Federation to get to the International Space Station.

The process will begin with uncrewed flight tests as early as late 2018.

By handing off crew and cargo runs to the space station to private companies, NASA has set its sight on the moon and Mars, developing the Orion capsule and the massive Space Launch System rocket.

Ferguson isn't now a NASA employee, though he served as an astronaut from 1998 to 2011 and commanded the final Space Shuttle mission.

NASA says commercial transportation to and from the space stations will enable expanded station use, additional research time and broader opportunities of discovery aboard the orbiting laboratory. Her first was a space shuttle mission that launched in 2007, and the second was a Soyuz-launched mission in 2012.

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