NASA names astronauts for first manned US space launches since 2011

NASA names astronauts for first manned US space launches since 2011

NASA names astronauts for first manned US space launches since 2011

They will be the first Americans to launch into space from US soil since NASA's space shuttle program retired in 2011.Since then, the USA has relied on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft to carry Americans space. Astronauts Sunita Williams, Doug Hurley, Bob Behnken and Eric Boe have spent the past three years working with Boeing and SpaceX on their commercial crew spaceships.

The test flights and missions aboard Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft, slated for as early as April 2019, will "begin a new era in America spaceflight", the US space agency said.

The space agency also confirmed Boeing's plan to put off its first crewed space taxi mission until mid-2019, and geared up to announce who'd be on the first space taxi flights for SpaceX's Crew Dragon as well as Boeing's Starliner.

Boeing's first Starliner crew will include a former NASA astronaut who commanded the last shuttle flight in 2011, Chris Ferguson, who's now a Boeing employee.

Their voyages are scheduled to begin next year, and they would be the first American astronauts to launch from US soil since 2011.

The two pairs of Nasa crewmates will fly to the station with Russian cosmonauts and worldwide astronauts to be announced at a later date.

With these launches the United States will recover its prominence in the space race after seven years of depending on Russian infrastructure to send its astronauts into space.

After years of vehicle development and building anticipation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has now put the crew in commercial crew spacecraft. "The result is that we'll have a better and safer spacecraft", he said. According to Bloomberg, NASA will name the astronauts that will fly on the tests on Friday.

For SpaceX, a demonstration flight with no passengers is set for November 2018, and the first manned flight set for April 2019. That flight is now projected to lift off in April of 2019.

But actually, NASA had a lot to do with getting America's private space industry off the ground in the first place.

"Rockets are fun. I'll be ready, I can't wait", Williams said in an interview posted Friday on the International Space Station Facebook page. Josh Cassada of the Navy, who will be making his first voyage into space.

Victor Glover, 42, and Michael Hopkins, 49, will fly on the first operational mission of SpaceX's crewed Dragon. She has logged 322 days in space. Williams has the most diverse space background of the astronauts named today, having flown on both the shuttle and Soyuz and served aboard the International Space Station for two long-duration expeditions in 2006 through 2007 and 2012. Once they receive the certification, NASA expects the companies to launch as many as six crews to the International Space Station.

A commercial Dragon cargo craft launched June 29 departed the International Space Station and returned to Earth on Friday with almost two tons of cargo and research samples. Similarly, the first Starliner is being now being outfitted for launch at Kennedy Space Center, and the test flight's Atlas V Centaur upper stage-never flown in the dual-engine configuration-ships to Florida in August. The test flight with crew is scheduled for mid-2019.

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