Sunita Williams among 9 astronauts to fly into space from US soil

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

Boeing Starliner Test Flights Slip –

The missions will mark the first crewed launches from USA soil since the end of the space shuttle programme in 2011.

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 close of 2019.

Eric Boe was born in Miami and grew up in Atlanta. Bob Behnken of the Air Force and Doug Hurley, a retired Marine Corps colonel.

Several of the selected astronauts are shuttle program veterans.

Christopher Ferguson is a native of Philadelphia.

Some background: The last time humans went to space from the United States was July 2011, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.

"It's absolutely an opportunity of a lifetime", said Mann, who was selected as an astronaut in 2013. It will mark Mann's first trip to space. "Exciting things happening. Space Force!"

Robert Behnken is from St. Ann, Missouri. These test flights will provide invaluable data on how rockets, ground systems, operations and the spacecraft themselves perform.

In a story August 3 about nine astronauts picked for fly on commercial capsules, The Associated Press reported erroneously the first name of one astronaut.

"This is the stuff of dreams ... this is a test pilot's dream", he said.

NASA seems confident these dates will hold, and that the commercial crew program is finally on the home stretch.

Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing's defense, space and security business, said in a statement published Friday the company is proud to have Ferguson as part of the first Starliner crew.

After each company successfully completes its crewed test flight, NASA will begin the final process of certifying that spacecraft and systems for regular crew missions to the space station. His name is Josh Cassada, not John. This will be his first spaceflight.

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

Glover joined the astronaut corps in 2013; he is a U.S. Navy commander and test pilot with nearly 3,000 flight hours logged in more than 40 different aircraft.

For the missions to be successful, both capsules will have to launch, travel safely to the International Space Station (ISS), dock and undock autonomously and then safely bring the crews back to Earth.

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.

Mike Hopkins: Hopkins was raised on a farm near Richland, Missouri, and he has a master's in aerospace engineering.

More astronaut crew members will be assigned to flight missions in the future, and both mission crews expressed the importance of adding them as soon as possible in order to reduce training challenges for both the crew and training teams. As it stands now, SpaceX currently holds the contract with NASA to do 12 robotic supply flights to the station for a minimum amount of $1.6 billion. 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.

Earlier this year, NASA unveiled a commercial crew schedule that called for the first uncrewed test flights by SpaceX and Boeing this month.

There were reports that Chris Ferguson, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and a Boeing employee at present, will fly the Starliner for its crewed flight test. Ferguson piloted the Atlantis mission to the ISS in September 2006.

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