NASA assigns commercial space craft crews

The agency assigned nine astronauts to crew the first test flight and mission of both Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.

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NASA (Washington, DC, US) introduced on Aug 3. the first US astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station – an endeavor that will return astronaut launches to US soil for the first time since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011.

“This accomplished group of American astronauts, flying on new spacecraft developed by our commercial partners Boeing [Chicago, IL, US] and SpaceX [Hawthorne, CA, US], will launch a new era of human spaceflight,” says NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The agency assigned nine astronauts to crew the first test flight and mission of both Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. NASA has worked closely with the companies throughout design, development and testing to ensure the systems meet NASA’s safety and performance requirements. 

The new spaceflight capability provided by Boeing and SpaceX will allow NASA to maintain a crew of seven astronauts on the International Space Station, thereby maximizing scientific research and also aiding in understanding and mitigating the challenges of long-duration spaceflight.