USA to resume manned space flights

NASA Spruces Up Astronauts Digs Ahead of Commercial Launches

One of three suit containment rooms where astronauts once got and will again get dressed for their visits to space. Credit Kim Shiflett NASA

Chris Ferguson and Marine Corps test pilot Nicole Mann, who will conduct the first Starliner flight test sometime in mid-2019. As the other astronauts donned NASA patches on their blue jumpsuits, Ferguson wore a Boeing applique.

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".

For Mann, a former F-18 test pilot with the Marines, though, this will be her first space flight.

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Mr. Behnken, Mr. Boe, Mr. Hurley and Mr. Williams were named in 2015 as NASA's "commercial crew cadre" and have been working with Boeing and SpaceX on the development of the spacecraft and the simulators that will be used to train astronauts to fly. That flight is now projected to lift off in April of 2019.

His father, Ian Ferguson, a computer salesman who died of cancer in 1981, prominently displayed in their house a framed autograph of Alan Shepard, the first American in space.

Since NASA's space shuttle program was shut down in 2011, it has had to rely on Russian Federation to fly astronauts to the space station.

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Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins, who has spent more than 160 days in space, were selected to crew SpaceX's first full mission. It will be Glover's first mission. "It will be thrilling to see our astronauts lift off from American soil, and we can't wait to see them aboard the International Space Station". It has given seed money to SpaceX and Boeing to incentivise them, but the companies themselves have also had to invest their own money. The delays could even result in a gap in USA access to the space station, because NASA has contracted for seats on Soyuz only through November 2019, the report found. NASA also named today the astronauts for those flights: Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins will fly aboard the first operational Crew Dragon, while John Cassada and Sunita Williams will fly aboard the first operational Starliner.

Josh Cassada grew up in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. It will be led by Robert Behnken, a flight test engineer and Air Force colonel, who flew on Endeavour twice and has completed more than 37 hours of spacewalks spread across six individual excursions. While in the Air Force, he flew in 55 combat missions over Iraq. He was chosen as an astronaut in 2000. The group includes former space shuttle flyers, ex-military test pilots, rookies, and - critically - a cadre of four astronauts who've already been testing and providing feedback on the new commercial ships for years. She has a master's in mechanical engineering. He is a Navy commander, aviator and test pilot with nearly 3,000 hours flying more than 40 different aircraft.

Critics say NASA's rocket is too expensive and won't fly enough to be worth the money. Eric Boe, retired Navy Capt. He went to space again during Discovery's last mission in 2011.

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Nasa took the decision after the shuttle retired to turn transportation to low-Earth obit destinations into a service that it could buy. Boeing believes they know what caused the problem and a fix is in the works.

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