Boeing sends veteran space shuttle commander back into space

Katie Ramirez
August 8, 2018

SpaceX's first test launch will ferry NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken into space.

Veteran NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will fly on SpaceX's first crewed Crew Dragon flight.

"Both contractors have said that their schedules are aggressive and they set ambitious-rather than realistic-dates, only to frequently delay them", says Cristina Chaplain, the GAO director who provides oversight for NASA, including the Commercial Crew program. He will be joined by Victor Glover, a Navy commander who will be making his first trip into space.

From left to right: Eric Boe, Chris Ferguson, Nicole Mann. He retired from NASA in 2011 and has been an integral part of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner program.

The spacecraft successfully carried a few thousand pounds of cargo to the ISS on June 29 and brought back a similar amount of invaluable cargo, as well as scientific experiments from orbit. NASA has worked closely with the companies throughout design, development and testing to ensure the systems meet its safety and performance requirements. SpaceX says their test flight will happen this November, while Boeing is now targeting late 2018 or early 2019. 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.

Crew capsule Dragon (also known as Dragon V2) has four Windows, offering passengers a view from their seats, is built using carbon fiber fabric and Alcantara. But that same propellant can be deadly to humans if not stored carefully. "They work to get the job done, and they love what they do". NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu Mann, along with Boeing's company astronaut Christopher Ferguson, will fly on the Boeing Starliner test flight. The endeavour will return astronaut launches to U.S. soil for the first time since the country retired its aging space shuttles in 2011. Behnken, Boe and Hurley have each flown two shuttle missions, logging four weeks in space apiece.

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Crew Dragon were selected by NASA for crew transport to the ISS.

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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.

"It's absolutely the opportunity of a lifetime", Mann, a Marine Corps lieutenant who joined NASA in 2013, said during the announcement. It will be Mr. Cassada's first spaceflight. Mr. Hopkins logged 166 days aboard the space station in 2014.

NASA is just as thrilled as Boeing and SpaceX to launch a new era of partnership with commercial entities and flying commercial spacecraft, so long as it stays afloat. He spent more than 40 days in space for NASA during three shuttle missions.

Boeing's Starliners will soar on United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rockets. However, at least one source already disagrees.

June 30, 2011-NASA's space shuttle has been an icon of the USA space program for the past 30 years.

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This article was originally published by The Washington Post.

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