Houston Matters

NASA Will Start Sending Crews To The Space Station From The United States Within A Year

Mark Geyer, who recently started working as director of the Johnson Space Center, says there will also be new missions to the Moon with the Orion spacecraft

NASA will start sending crews to the International Space Station (ISS) from the United States within a year, according to Mark Geyer, director of the Johnson Space Center (JSC).

Houston Matters’ Craig Cohen interviewed Geyer, who assumed the position on May 25. He detailed that NASA will launch a couple of spacecraft from Boeing and SpaceX.

NASA hasn’t launched crews from the U.S. since the end of the shuttle program in 2011 and has been relying on Russian rockets to get to the ISS.

Geyer also said that, within approximately a year and a half, NASA will launch the Orion spacecraft to do missions out past the Moon for the first time since the early ‘70s.

This file photo shows NASA astronaut candidate Jasmin Moghbeli, left, NASA astronaut candidate Raja Chari, NASA astronaut candidate Robert Hines, meeting with NASA Johnson Space Center Flight Operations Director Brian Kelly, Mark Geyer (second from the right) –when he was Johnson Space Center Deputy Director– and Johnson Space Center Associate Director Melanie Saunders in the green room prior to a June 2017 event where NASA introduced 12 new astronaut candidates.

The JSC director also talked about what they can still contribute to space exploration and underscored that the Johnson Space Center really good at “integrating large programs, like Space Station.”

Geyer noted the complexity of the ISS program is due, among other reasons, to the multiple international and commercial partners it has. He added that another specialty at the JSC is the research on how the human body behaves in space.

A native of Indianapolis, Geyer has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University and is the 12th director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

His career at NASA covers almost three decades. Geyer started in 1990 at NASA Johnson in the new business directorate and he joined the ISS program in 1994, where he performed a variety of roles.

From 2005 to 2007, Geyer served as deputy program manager of the Constellation Program, before transitioning to manager of the Orion Program, a position he held until 2015. After supporting Orion, Geyer served as deputy center director at NASA Johnson until September 2017.

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