Blend of novices, veterans to fly on first private USA spaceships

Crew Dragon and Starliner A Look at the Coming Astronaut Taxis

NASA has confirmed a delay in the first piloted flights of Boeing and SpaceX, part of NASA's Commercial Crew programme to send humans to the International Space Station (ISS) on private U.S. spacecraft.

As per IT House, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft was launched on June 29, carrying a massive 2,697 kilograms of cargo to the International Space Station, which included experimental materials, spacewalking equipment, artificial intelligence jointly developed by IBM and Airbus. They will mark the first astronaut launches from United States soil since the 2011 retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet.

On board Starliner's first extended mission will be NASA veteran Sunita Williams, a retired Navy captain and one of the most experienced American astronauts in history, and Josh Cassada, a Navy pilot making his first flight to space.

"NASA is empowering private industry to gain solid footing in low-Earth orbit, which will allow NASA to explore new frontiers in deep space", said Jon Cowart, acting deputy manager for the Commercial Crew Program's Mission Management and Integration office at the Kennedy Space Center.

These US astronauts previously flew aboard Russian spacecraft to get to the ISS.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who made the introductions at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas on Friday. "Today's announcement advances our great American vision and strengthens the nation's leadership in space".

SpaceX's first crew tests will be manned by shuttle veterans Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. He began his career with the Air Force, and served as a fighter pilot, test pilot and colonel. NASA worked closely with the companies to engineer both spacecraft.

The aviation companies will be conducting test flights at the end of this year and next, and astronauts will leave for the worldwide space station Cape Canaveral in Florida next spring or summer.

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"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", Mr. Geyer said. Glover was selected by NASA in 2013, and his mission with SpaceX will mark his first time in space. Dr Deepak Pandya, her father, said that she would start training for the 2019-20 mission.

But NASA's options may be limited by the global agreements that established the station in 1998.

Three of the chosen astronauts joined the corps in 2013, which was before the commercial partnership was announced. He's performed six spacewalks totaling almost 40 hours.

Ferguson is expected to fly for Boeing on Starliner's first mission to the International Space Station as well, but the second NASA crew that will accompany him will be John Cassada on his first space flight and former ISS commander Suni Williams. By naming crews, NASA is signaling its belief that these astronauts will fly sometime soon.

Prior to their maiden crewed missions, both Boeing and SpaceX plan uncrewed test flights in late 2018 or early 2019.

Victor Glover is from Pomona, California.

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.

Michael Hopkins was born in Lebanon, Missouri, and grew up on a farm near Richland, Missouri.

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