Eric Boe Is No More Associated with The Next Launch

Katie Ramirez
January 25, 2019

He will be replaced by veteran astronaut Mike Fincke.

News 6 interviewed Boe in August, when NASA announced the astronauts who will be flying on the SpaceX and Boeing missions.

"Boe is unable to fly due to medical reasons", NASA officials said.

In any case, Boe's removal is believed to mark only the fifth time in USA space program history that an astronaut has been pulled from a space flight assignment.

Perhaps the most famous medical-related crew shuffle was Apollo 13, when Ken Mattingly was removed from the crew just three days before launch when he was exposed to the German measles - which he never contracted.

This week, the American space agency announced a change in plans, as Eric Boe, a former pilot for the Endeavour and Discovery shuttles, is now experiencing a medical problem that will prevent him from flying.

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According to NASA, Boeing is targeting August for its first crewed flight from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at Space Launch Complex 41. Both companies plan an unpiloted test flight followed by an initial crewed test launch later this year.

Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson, who commanded the last house shuttle flight in 2011 earlier than leaving NASA, mentioned it would have been "an honor" to fly with Boe once more to the area station.

Michael "Mike" Fincke will replace Eric Boe for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner's Crew Flight Test, scheduled to launch later in 2019. Ferguson said he and NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, who's also on the first Starliner crew, are glad to have Fincke on board. The capsule and Falcon rocket were on the launch pad Wednesday for a test engine firing. Behnken and Hurley hope to take off in the June timeframe, although no official target dates have been set. An uncrewed flight test of the Starliner will test the spacecraft's critical systems prior to Fincke, Ferguson and Manna's launch, said Nasa.

Boe was appointed to this flight in August of 2018, alongside eight different astronauts partaking in the inaugural missions for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. He flew on two long-duration missions to the International Space Station on Soyuz spacecraft in 2004 and 2008-2009, as well as the final flight of the shuttle Endeavour, STS-134, in 2011.

During Expedition 9, Fincke performed four spacewalks, or EVAs (Extravehicular Activities), in support of future Space Station construction and operations activities.

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