Meet the first astronauts to fly the new SpaceX and Boeing spaceships

Meet the first astronauts to fly the new SpaceX and Boeing spaceships

The 42-year-old Glover will be among the first Americans to launch into orbit from US soil since NASA's space shuttle program shut down in 2011. Since the shuttle fleet's retirement in 2011, the only spaceship cleared for carrying people to the station has been Russia's Soyuz spacecraft, and the ticket price for NASA is in the range of $80 million a seat. "This accomplished group of American astronauts, flying on new spacecraft developed by our commercial partners Boeing and SpaceX, will launch a new era of human spaceflight", Mr. Bridenstine said.

The crews will travel to the International Space Station aboard two commercial spacecraft that Boeing and SpaceX plan to send into the stratosphere sometime during the coming year.

"Space has transformed the American way of life", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Their successful test flight will pave the way for two different astronauts to take the Starliner to the International Space Station for Boeing's first operational mission at a later date.

Former chief astronaut Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley - who served as co-pilot on the final shuttle mission - will fly on SpaceX's Dragon during its first manned flight.

The space agency says each post-certification flight by the CST-100 Starliner and Crew Dragon spacecraft will carry four passengers on half-year expeditions to the space station.

Ferguson commanded the final mission of the space shuttle program, and Hurley was the pilot on that flight.

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"I'm just really excited we're going to be able to take these spacecraft and show them off to our worldwide partners", Williams told the crowd.

Boeing's Starliners will soar on United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rockets. The delays could even result in a gap in US access to the space station, because NASA has contracted for seats on Soyuz only through November 2019, the report found.

"NASA, which is making a BIG comeback under the Trump Administration, has just named 9 astronauts for Boeing and Spacex space flights, "Trump wrote on Twitter". The crewed demonstration flight, with two astronauts on board, will follow in April 2019, four months later than previously announced.

This will be the first trip into space for Mr. Glover, Mr. Cassada and Ms. Mann. In a call with reporters this week, John Mulholland, Boeing's program manager, said that several of the valves failed to fully close, resulting in a propellant leak.

For Starliner, that will see Navy commander and test pilot Josh Cassada make his first spaceflight, joined by Sunita Williams, a former Navy test pilot and captain before joining NASA. He has a doctorate in engineering and is a flight test engineer and colonel in the Air Force.

SpaceX did not give a reason for the delay of its first crewed test flight. He's spent almost 29 days in space. "This is a test pilot's dream". The agency has doled out more than $8 billion in awards and contracts. And Nasa also named the astronauts for those flights as well.

For Crew Dragon, the now confirmed crew includes Navy commander, aviator, and test pilot Victor Glover.