Nasa names astronauts for first commercial flights

NASA SpaceX Boeing cst 100 starliner crew dragon spaceships spacecraft illustration business insider shayanne gal

NASA SpaceX Boeing cst 100 starliner crew dragon spaceships spacecraft illustration business insider shayanne gal

VICE News spoke with Dennis Stone, one of the founding members of NASA's commercial investment program, to hear the story behind the agency's success in backing private spaceflight.

SpaceX and Boeing are planning a test flight of their capsules by the end of this year or early 2019.

What makes the mission stand out even more is the fact that Ferguson is retired from NASA and now works for Boeing.

After years of vehicle development and building anticipation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has now put the crew in commercial crew spacecraft.

In this illustration, a Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is shown in low-Earth orbit.

However, the U.S. Government Accountability Office warned last month that certification delays for the two companies could, for a while, leave NASA with no way to get American astronauts onto the ISS.

This will be the first trip into space for Mr. Glover, Mr. Cassada and Ms. Mann.

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.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommended NASA pursue a backup plan for getting astronauts to the ISS, as its contract with Russian Federation to send them to the station via Soyuz launches in Kazakhstan ends at the end of 2019.

Veteran station flight engineer Mike Hopkins will be accompanied by rookie astronaut Victor Glover on the Crew Dragon's first operational flight to the station. He flew aboard three shuttle missions, including the program's final mission in 2011.

The astronauts assigned to the Starliner's first mission are Sunita Williams, who retired as a Navy captain, and Cmdr.

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.

"SpaceX is targeting November 2018 for Crew Dragon's first demonstration mission and April 2019 for Crew Dragon's second demonstration mission, which will carry two NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station", said Benji Reed, director of Crew Mission Management at SpaceX, in the statement. Mann was selected as an astronaut in 2013. He was a test pilot and colonel in the Marine Corps before coming to NASA in 2000 to become an astronaut.

All the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have been taken there on Russian Soyuz spacecraft since the retirement of the American shuttle in 2011. She has logged 322 days in space.

Both Boeing and SpaceX are slightly behind schedule when it comes to their crew vehicles.

The Government Accountability Office recently issued a warning to NASA that it needs to have a contingency plan in place to ensure continued access to the space station, which costs the U.S. about $3 billion annually. (BA) to the punch when it comes to flying astronauts to the International Space Station.

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