Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Research | By Wilma Wheeler

These Are the Names of the SpaceX and Boeing Astronauts

These Are the Names of the SpaceX and Boeing Astronauts

"This is a big deal for our country, and we want Americans to know that we are back", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told the crowd. "Today's announcement advances our great American vision and strengthens the nation's leadership in space".

While NASA didn't require uncrewed flight tests, both companies will be shooting them off to the ISS anyway, because you can never be too positive things won't glitch once you're 1,200 miles beyond Earth's atmosphere.

The agency announced last week the first astronauts that will fly to the space station, as the first American astronauts onboard commercial spacecraft. Mann is a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and pilot of the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, while Boe is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who was a test pilot on the Boeing F-15.

After the ending of space shuttle program in 2011, NASA astronauts were travelling to the ISS aboard Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.

Christopher Ferguson is a native of Philadelphia. He retired from NASA after commanding the final shuttle mission in 2011, and eventually joined Boeing to help develop Starliner. The crewed flight tests will mostly mirror the uncrewed missions, except a flight commander and pilot will be manning each mission once they are ready for a human crew. Mann was selected as an astronaut in 2013. Boe will be making his third trip to space.

Robert Behnken is from St. Ann, Missouri. While in the Air Force, he flew in 55 combat missions over Iraq.

"I've been waiting for this day." said Sunita Williams, who was one of the four astronauts that has been working with both commercial partners for the last three years.

Doug Hurley: Hurley's hometown is Apalachin, New York. Ferguson is the only non-NASA astronaut. He piloted space shuttle Endeavor for STS-127 and Atlantis for STS-135, the final space shuttle mission.

An unmanned Boeing flight test is scheduled for later this year, while the first flight with the crew is expected to take place in mid-2019, NASA said.

In total, NASA explained "to have signed a contract for six missions, with a maximum of four astronauts per mission, for each company". His name is Josh Cassada, not John. In 2013 and 2014, Hopkins spent almost six months aboard the ISS, logging almost 13 hours of spacewalks.

Glover and Cassada are spaceflight rookies.

Sunita Williams was born in Euclid, Ohio, but considers Needham, Massachusetts, her hometown.

Williams has spent 322 days aboard the International Space Station since becoming an astronaut in 1998.

Victor Glover is from Pomona, California.

"As a test pilot, it doesn't get any better than this", said Mann, a Naval aviator.

The Pasadena native accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flying time in more than 40 aircraft, with 400 carrier landings and 24 combat missions. He was selected as part of the 2013 astronaut candidate class, and this will be his first spaceflight.

Mike Hopkins: Hopkins was raised on a farm near Richland, Missouri, and he has a master's in aerospace engineering. If any further delays creep up, NASA's astronauts may be temporarily stranded on Earth.

When the Starliner approaches the International Space Station, the docking will be fully autonomous as the spacecraft manoeuvres toward an adapted docking port for commercial spacecraft.

Maintaining the International Space Station costs the federal government up to $4 billion a year, and NASA is working on plans to privatize it. "But in a few years, the flight rates and opportunities for other nationals to fly to space will greatly increase". This research has led to dramatic improvements in technology, infrastructure and medicine, and thousands of spinoff technologies that have improved quality of life here on Earth.

Glover will partner with NASA veteran Mike Hopkins, 49, who spent 166 days aboard the space station in 2014, during their mission aboard the Crew Dragon capsule.

It has been widely reported in the media worldwide that Nasa pays more than $70 million per seat to Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, to send its astronaut to the ISS using their spacecraft.

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