NASA names 9 ‘American hero’ astronauts for SpaceX, Boeing missions (News)

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NASA has introduced the 9 astronauts that can crew the check flights and first missions of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

Crew for the Starliner check flight are NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu-Mann and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been chosen to participate within the Crew Dragon check flight.

The first Boeing mission to the Worldwide Area Station can be crewed by NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Suni Williams. The preliminary SpaceX mission to the ISS can be crewed by NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins.

“This is the stuff of goals,” mentioned Glover, throughout an occasion at NASA’s Johnson Area Middle in Houston Friday.

“Having a chance to introduce you to those American heroes is exclusive,” mentioned NASA Adminstrator Jim Bridenstine.

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On this illustration, a Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is proven in low-Earth orbit. (Photograph credit score: Boeing)

“That is just the start of daring missions that this nation is embarking upon,” mentioned Mark Geyer, director of  Johnson Area Middle, in the course of the occasion. “It’s an thrilling time for human spaceflight and an thrilling time for our nation.”

The house company has partnered with Boeing and SpaceX to develop the Starliner spacecraft to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and the Crew Dragon launching atop the Falcon 9 rocket, respectively.

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In a assertion launched Thursday, NASA and its Business Crew companions revealed extra particulars of the trouble to hold astronauts from the U.S. to the Worldwide Area Station. For the reason that retirement of the house shuttle in 2011, the U.S. has been counting on Russian Soyuz rockets, launched from Kazakhstan, to get astronauts to the ISS.

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On this illustration, a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the Worldwide Area Station for docking. (Photograph credit score: NASA/SpaceX)

Boeing plans to do an uncrewed flight check of its CST-100 Starliner later this 12 months or early subsequent 12 months. John Mulholland, vp and program supervisor for Boeing’s Business Crew effort, defined that the earliest the corporate can “confidently” do a manned flight check can be in mid-2019. “Our dedication has all the time been to offer NASA and people crews the very best degree of mission assurance,” he mentioned within the assertion.

“SpaceX is focusing on November 2018 for Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission and April 2019 for Crew Dragon’s second demonstration mission, which is able to carry two NASA astronauts to and from the Worldwide Area Station,” mentioned Benji Reed, director of Crew Mission Administration at SpaceX, within the assertion.

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The primary check flight for SpaceX and Boeing can be generally known as Demo-1 and Orbital Flight Check, respectively. “Every check flight will present knowledge on the efficiency of the rockets, spacecraft, floor techniques, and operations to make sure the techniques are secure to fly astronauts,” defined NASA within the assertion.

Crew for every flight will embrace at the very least a flight commander and a pilot.

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner can be launched from Area Launch Advanced 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Power Station in Florida. The Crew Dragon spacecraft will launch from Launch Advanced 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle.

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The Starliner spacecraft is being outfitted on the Business Crew and Cargo Processing Facility on the Kennedy Area Middle, in accordance with NASA. The ULA Atlas V twin engine Centaur that can launch the spacecraft can be shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Power Station this month.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon that can be used for Demo-1 arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Power Station in July. “Falcon 9’s first and second levels for the Demo-1 mission are focused to ship from SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California to the corporate’s rocket testing facility in McGregor, Texas for added testing in August,” NASA mentioned.

United Launch Alliance can be concerned within the forthcoming launch of NASA’s Parker Photo voltaic Probe. The probe, which is able to journey instantly into the Solar’s ambiance, will blast off aboard a ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket from Area Launch Advanced 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Power Station. The launch window for the mission opens at 3:48 a.m EDT on Aug. 11, 2018.

Comply with James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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