NASA to announce next generation space flight crew

NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews

Once the uncrewed flight tests are complete and the data reviews have validated the spacecraft systems, NASA astronauts will have their first opportunity to fly in the spacecraft. Boeing and SpaceX volunteered to perform these tests to demonstrate their systems are safe for crew. Falcon 9's first and second stages for the Demo-1 mission are targeted to ship from SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California to the company's rocket testing facility in McGregor, Texas for additional testing in August. If history is any guide, the crews taking the spotlight on Friday will have even more time to train.

Among the options being considered by NASA is to use the crewed flight test as a crew rotation flight by adding a third astronaut to the mission and extending its stay from two weeks to as long as six months.

There will be at least eight astronauts announced tomorrow - each crewed test flight will have at least two astronauts.

NASA is due to live-stream the announcement from Johnson Space Center in Texas at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) Friday, with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine presiding.

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Four of the eight astronauts will nearly certainly be Bob Behnken, Eric Boe, Doug Hurley, and Sunita "Suni" Williams.

Last month, the Government Accountability Office warned that the companies were slipping on their schedules toward NASA certification, with Boeing reaching that milestone in December 2019 and SpaceX a month later.

SpaceXNASA astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams tests mock-ups of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship and spacesuit.

In March, astronaut Eric Boe visited Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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The space agency also confirmed Boeing's plan to put off its first crewed space taxi mission until mid-2019, and geared up to announce who'd be on the first space taxi flights for SpaceX's Crew Dragon as well as Boeing's Starliner.

SpaceX has not publicly revised its Crew Dragon schedule. Nominally, two astronauts will be on each test flight. If something goes wrong at any point during a Crew Dragon flight, these engines can fire up and carry the spacecraft and its passengers to safety. In this simulation, DOD pararescue specialists jumped from military aircraft, parachuted to the water, and simulated stabilizing the Crew Dragon capsule and safely removing astronauts from the spacecraft.

"We have a dedicated team of both ourselves and the contractor working diligently on those corrective actions", said Mulholland. Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana will also attend the event at JSC, which is home to the agency's astronaut corps. Its astronaut-specific amenities include four big windows; advanced avionics, computer systems and displays (including controls for interior temperature, which can be set between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18 to 27 degrees Celsius); and, of course, seats.

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