Sunita Williams, 8 others to fly on Boeing, SpaceX spacecraft

Sunita Williams, 8 others to fly on Boeing, SpaceX spacecraft

The space agency announced on Friday that the nine astronauts will launch on the first crewed test flights and missions of new commercial spacecraft built and operated by The Boeing Company and SpaceX. And it's now apparent that SpaceX is slightly ahead-it will conduct a crewed test flight in April of next year, while Boeing's crewed test is only scheduled for "mid-2019". That is why in 2010 NASA started accepting proposals from commercial companies that were making astronaut transportation systems.

NASA has always been working on developing its commercial crew programme while it can focus on its space exploration projects, the report added.

"We are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during the "Launch America" announcement.

The SpaceX crewed test flight, now scheduled for April 2019, will be flown by NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. It will be Mr. Glover's first time in space. Ferguson, the Boeing astronaut, flew three shuttle missions, and has logged more than 40 days in space.

The new spaceflight capability provided by Boeing and SpaceX will allow NASA to maintain a crew of seven astronauts on the space station, thereby maximizing scientific research that leads to breakthroughs and also aids in understanding and mitigating the challenges of long-duration spaceflight.

Since then, astronauts have relied on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to transport them to and from the orbiting space station.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will crew the SpaceX Crew Dragon test flight. That would include adding a third astronaut to the mission and extending its stay on the station from two weeks to up to six months.

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The successful flight marked the scheduled end of the 30-year space shuttle program.

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. Josh Cassada and Suni Williams will be the second crew for the Starliner and Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins will be the second crew for the Dragon. Mann was selected as an astronaut in 2013.

On Friday, they revealed the crew members who will be carrying out the Space agency's first commercial flights. SpaceX's manned test flight will feature two NASA astronauts.

NASA contracted both companies to shuttle astronauts to and from the International Space Station following the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011.

Both Boeing and SpaceX are slightly behind schedule when it comes to their crew vehicles. "To meet NASA's requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station". Mr. Hopkins logged 166 days aboard the space station in 2014.

The first crewed flights will only spend a short period of time in orbit before coming back to Earth.