NASA

NASA Announces Astronaut Crews for First Missions on New Commercial Spacecraft

The missions will help to expand the research at the International Space Station

NASA introduced to the world on Aug. 3, 2018, the first U.S. astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station – an endeavor that will return astronaut launches to U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011. The agency assigned nine astronauts to crew the first test flight and mission of both Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. The astronauts are, from left to right: Sunita Williams, Josh Cassada, Eric Boe, Nicole Mann, Christopher Ferguson, Douglas Hurley, Robert Behnken, Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover.

Houston’s Johnson Space Center was the place NASA chose Friday to introduce to the world the first U.S. astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station. The new endeavor will return astronaut launches to United States soil for the first time since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011.

“Today, our country’s dreams of greater achievements in space are within our grasp,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “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. Today’s announcement advances our great American vision and strengthens the nation’s leadership in space.”

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems to carry crews safely to and from low-Earth orbit – the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner.

The agency assigned nine astronauts to crew the first test flight and mission of both Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. NASA has worked closely with the companies throughout design, development and testing to ensure the systems meet NASA’s safety and performance requirements.

A new time for human spaceflight

“The men and women we assign to these first flights are at the forefront of this exciting new time for human spaceflight,” said Mark Geyer, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “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.”

Eric Boe, Christopher Ferguson and Nicole Aunapu Mann form the crew for the Starliner Test Flight, while Robert Behnken, Douglas Hurley, Josh Cassada and Sunita Williams will work on the Crew Dragon Test Flight. Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins are the astronauts selected to be the crew of the Dragon first mission.

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

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems to carry crews safely to and from low-Earth orbit – the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is facilitating the development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit.

Share