Meet the first astronauts to fly the new SpaceX and Boeing spaceships

Boeing Test Flights Delayed Again: The CST-100 Starliner Might Be Tested Next Year

Boeing Test Flights Delayed Again: The CST-100 Starliner Might Be Tested Next Year

On the first human test flight of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, NASA selected astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Mann to join Boeing executive Chris Ferguson.

A Georgia Tech grad was named to the nine-member team of astronauts who are to serve aboard the first commercial crew flight tests of a spacecraft created to transport humans to the International Space Station and other low-orbit destinations.

The new SpaceX (L) and Boeing (R) launch and entry spacesuits are displayed as NASA announces the crew assignments for the first flight tests, missions of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas on August 3, 2018.

NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, was on hand at NASA's Johnson Space Center to announce the nine new commercial crew astronauts. "Today's announcement advances our great American vision and strengthens the nation's leadership in space", he added. As the other astronauts donned NASA patches on their blue jumpsuits, Ferguson wore a Boeing applique. "We had our quarterly [review] this week, and for the first time in years, it felt real". The capsules, made by SpaceX and Boeing, will ferry the astronauts and cargo back and forth to the International Space Station.

"The 7,000 women and men of SpaceX understand what a sacred honour this was, for us to be part of this program, and for us to fly you", said Gwynne Shotwell, the chief operating officer of SpaceX, at the Friday press conference.

The first regular mission of Crew Dragon will be carried out by Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins. But NASA warns that these dates are just targets, and both commercial providers have "more work ahead of them" before they can launch to the ISS.

The crew for the SpaceX Crew Dragon test flight, which may end up being the first to launch, features two NASA astronauts: Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.

California office pool wins $543 million lottery jackpot
Reyes said he wanted to get the tickets from a local mom & pop shop, adding, "We'll probably have a better chance". One woman in the group chimed in saying she would invest so she wouldn't be a "one-time millionaire".

Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins, who has spent more than 160 days in space, were selected to crew SpaceX's first full mission. Boeing will launch its CST-100 Starliner on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, also in Florida.

The two pairs of NASA crewmates will fly to the station with Russian cosmonauts and global astronauts to be announced at a later date. NASA has contracted six missions, with as many as four astronauts per mission, for each company.

The space agency's priority is safe, reliable and cost-effective travel to low-Earth orbit and back (at least for now) for the crewed flight tests called Demo-1 by SpaceX and Orbital Flight Test by Boeing.

Both companies will also conduct abort system test flights to ensure the astronauts can safely escape should their rockets go awry.

"Future Commercial Crew astronauts will be riding to space on partner vehicle built by SpaceX & BoeingSpace", NASA stated in a tweet. Eric Boe is a former Air Force fighter pilot and test pilot, who previously piloted space shuttle Endeavour on the STS-126 mission and Discovery on its final flight, STS-133.

NASA says astronaut Josh Cassada will fly alongside Williams when the mission to the ISS launches. "I'll tell you, being able to launch to the International Space Station from US soil, I can't imagine better", Cassada said. SpaceX aims to launch an uncrewed test flight in November of this year, with a Boeing test flight scheduled for late 2018 or early 2019.

The US space agency, meanwhile, is working on building rockets and spacecraft that could allow humans to return to the Moon in the coming decade.

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