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Crews assigned to first Commercial Crew flights


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August 3, 2018

The first astronauts who will fly to space on American-made commercial spacecraft were announced on Friday at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The astronauts were assigned to four missions, which will be the first to launch from U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.

“Today, our country’s dreams of greater achievements in space are within our grasp,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who announced the crews. “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.”

A group of nine astronauts were assigned to crew the first test flight and mission of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.

“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.” 

Starliner Test Flight Astronauts
 

Astronaut Eric BoeEric Boe was born in Miami and grew up in Atlanta. He came to NASA from the Air Force, where he was a fighter pilot and test pilot and rose to the rank of colonel. He was selected as an astronaut in 2000 and piloted space shuttle Endeavour for the STS-126 mission and Discovery on its final flight, STS-133.




Astronaut Chris Ferguson (Boeing)Christopher Ferguson is a native of Philadelphia. He is a retired Navy captain, who piloted space shuttle Atlantis for STS-115, and commanded shuttle Endeavour on STS-126 and Atlantis for the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program, STS-135. He retired from NASA in 2011 and has been an integral part of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner program.




Astronaut Nicole MannNicole Aunapu Mann is a California native and a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps. She is an F/A-18 test pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours in more than 25 aircraft. Mann was selected as an astronaut in 2013. This will be her first trip to space.
Boeing’s Starliner will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 



Crew Dragon Test Flight Astronauts 

Astronaut Bob BehnkenRobert Behnken is from St. Ann, Missouri. He has a doctorate in engineering and is a flight test engineer and colonel in the Air Force. He joined the astronaut corps in 2000 and flew aboard Endeavour twice, for the STS-123 and STS-130 missions, during which he performed six spacewalks totaling more than 37 hours.




Astronaut Douglas HurleyDouglas Hurley calls Apalachin, New York, his hometown. He was a test pilot and colonel in the Marine Corps before coming to NASA in 2000 to become an astronaut. He piloted Endeavour for STS-127 and Atlantis for STS-135, the final space shuttle mission.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.




After each company successfully completes its crewed test flight, NASA will begin the final process of certifying that spacecraft and systems for regular crew missions to the space station. The agency has contracted six missions, with as many as four astronauts per mission, for each company.

Starliner First Mission Astronauts

Astronaut Josh CassadaJosh Cassada grew up in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He is a Navy commander and test pilot with more than 3,500 flight hours in more than 40 aircraft. He was selected as an astronaut in 2013. This will be his first spaceflight.





Astronaut Sunita WilliamsSunita Williams was born in Euclid, Ohio, but considers Needham, Massachusetts, her hometown. Williams came to NASA from the Navy, where she was a test pilot and rose to the rank of captain before retiring. Since her selection as an astronaut in 1998, she has spent 322 days aboard the International Space Station for Expeditions 14/15 and Expeditions 32/33, commanded the space station and performed seven spacewalks.




Crew Dragon First Mission Astronauts

Astronaut Victor GloverVictor Glover is from Pomona, California. He is a Navy commander, aviator and test pilot with almost 3,000 hours flying more than 40 different aircraft. He made 400 carrier landings and flew 24 combat missions. He was selected as part of the 2013 astronaut candidate class, and this will be his first spaceflight.




Astronaut Mike HopkinsMichael Hopkins was born in Lebanon, Missouri, and grew up on a farm near Richland, Missouri. He is a colonel in the Air Force, where he was a flight test engineer before being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009. He has spent 166 days on the International Space Station for Expeditions 37/38, and conducted two spacewalks.




The astronauts will be the first to fly sleek, 21st-century spacecraft. Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Just a few miles up the coast, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will launch atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

By partering with commercial providers to launch astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA will be able to focus more resources exploring the solar system. 
 
The nine astronauts who have been selected to fly on the first four commercial flights.
The nine astronauts who have been selected to fly on the first four commercial flights. Credit: NASA
The astronauts who have been assigned to missions on the CST-100 Starliner.
The astronauts assigned to flights on the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Credit: NASA
The astronauts assigned to flights on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The astronauts assigned to flights on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. Credit: NASA
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the nine American astronauts who will fly to space on the new commercial vehicles.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the nine American astronauts who will fly to space on the new commercial vehicles. Credit: NASA