Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

These Astronauts Will Fly SpaceX, Boeing Spacecraft to the ISS

These Astronauts Will Fly SpaceX, Boeing Spacecraft to the ISS

The crewed demonstration flight, with two astronauts on board, will follow in April 2019, four months later than previously announced.

Former chief astronaut Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley - who served as co-pilot on the final shuttle mission - will fly on SpaceX's Dragon during its first manned flight. On one side, Boeing showed off its spacesuit, a handsome blue uniform, next to SpaceX's sleek black-and-white suit.

At a press briefing Friday, Lt. Col. Mann called her maiden voyage aboard the Starliner the "opportunity of a lifetime", saying it's one that will "help usher in this new era of American spaceflight".

The chosen astronauts will be the first to conduct flight tests and missions on the Boeing Starliner and Space X crew dragon.

Recent delays have pushed back the first flights of the Starliner and crewed Dragon to 2019, with uncrewed test flights hopefully happening in November for SpaceX or late this year, early next year for Boeing.

Since then, they have been in a race to see which company would fly first in what's become a sort of modern-day space race. Williams has already spent more than 300 days in space.

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

NASA has been paying billions of dollars to SpaceX and Boeing to develop the crew capsules to pick up where the shuttles left off, while also paying billions for cargo deliveries to the space station by SpaceX and Northrop Grumman. That is why in 2010 NASA started accepting proposals from commercial companies that were making astronaut transportation systems.

Today, NASA moved another inch closer.

The contracts for travel to the International Space Station were awarded in 2014.

In this illustration, a Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is shown in low-Earth orbit. The Trump administration proposed eliminating direct federal funding for the station by 2025, and allocating money to commercial entities who could operate it.

The seven men and two women pumped their fists in the air and gave thumbs-up as they strode onto the stage to cheers from the crowd.

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Eric Boe was born in Miami and grew up in Atlanta.

Team Boeing consists of retired Air Force Col. While in the Air Force, he flew in 55 combat missions over Iraq.

Victor Glover: Glover was selected as an astronaut in 2013 after a career in the Navy as a test pilot. He flew on Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2008 with fellow Georgia Tech graduates Sandy Magnus and Shane Kimbrough.

Nicole Aunapu Mann: Mann was born in California and is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps.

"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", Doug Hurley said. He was selected as an astronaut in 2013. He has flown to space twice before this, both on space shuttle missions. He returns to NASA after retiring in 2011. NASA says this was actually not a requirement for certifying the vehicles, but both companies opted to perform end-to-end flight tests to ensure the entire integrated system worked properly.

Robert Behnken is from St. Ann, Missouri.

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