NASA names new crews for space travel

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In a recent report, the Government Accountability Office said that further delays in NASA's "Commercial Crew" program could "disrupt access" to the space station, which would be an enormous embarrassment for NASA after investing about $100 billion to build and operate it. NASA also said SpaceX will launch an uncrewed flight test in November, with Boeing not expected to do that until late in 2018 or in the early part of next year. It will be Glover's first mission.

SpaceX's four-member crew consists of Air Force flight test engineer Bob Behnken and retired Marine Corps test pilot Doug Hurley, tasked with the Dragon's demo flight scheduled for April 2019; Dragon's first mission will be flown by Navy test pilot Victor Glover and the Air Force's Mike Hopkins. NASA had originally expected the companies to have their spacecraft ready for missions to the International Space Station by the end of previous year, but neither were able to meet that target.

The first test flight for SpaceX and Boeing will be known as Demo-1 and Orbital Flight Test, respectively.

Boeing has since identified the problem he said, and is working to fix it. Williams previously logged 321 days in orbit on two stays aboard the space station, most recently returning to the Earth in 2012.

The commander on the historic last shuttle mission, Chris Ferguson, is now a Boeing employee and has been heavily involved in developing the company's CST-100 Starliner capsule. SpaceX is aiming for January of next year while Boeing is targeting February 2019. NASA has been paying Russian Federation for flights launched from remote Kazakhstan to the ISS ever since, banking on its Commercial Crew Program to develop a cheaper, reliable and safe American-based alternative.

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"NASA, which is making a BIG comeback under the Trump Administration, has just named 9 astronauts for Boeing and Spacex space flights, "Trump wrote on Twitter". Boeing's first operational mission to the space station will mark his first time in space.

Behnken, Hurley, Boe and Mann are Nasa's first astronauts to be named to the test flights of new U.S. spacecraft since the March 1978 announcement of the space shuttle's first orbital flight test crews. Additional crew members will be assigned by NASA's global partners in the space station at a later date, the agency said.

The missions will mark the first crewed launches from U.S. soil since the end of the space shuttle programme seven years ago. Many spacecraft, including Crew Dragon and Starliner, use hypergolic propellant for abort engines because it ignites on contact and is a good choice for quickly blasting a crew capsule away from a failing rocket. It will be Cassada's first spaceflight.

After announcing the crews, Bridenstine engaged in a largely lighthearted question-and-answer session with the selected astronauts, who expressed their delight in being selected and anticipation in flying on these next-generation vehicles.

For the past seven years NASA astronauts have hitched rides to the orbiting outpost on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft, at a cost of some $80 million a seat. Hopkins logged 166 days aboard the space station in 2014. Similarly, the first Starliner is being now being outfitted for launch at Kennedy Space Center, and the test flight's Atlas V Centaur upper stage-never flown in the dual-engine configuration-ships to Florida in August. The spacecraft will dock and undock autonomously to the space station before flying their crew back to Earth.

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