NASA announces crew for the first American spacecraft launches since 2011

Starliner and Crew Dragon

NASA released new schedules Aug. 2 for test flights by Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon. Credit Boeing SpaceX

The first flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon is expected in April 2019, following an unmanned test in November, NASA said. Some, however, deem that target ambitious.

The test flights and missions aboard Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft, slated for as early as April 2019, will "begin a new era in America spaceflight", the US space agency said. (BA) to the punch when it comes to flying astronauts to the International Space Station. Now the pair will be among those who usher in a new era for NASA.

SpaceX and Boeing are shooting for a test flight of their capsules by the end of this year or early next, with the first crews flying from Cape Canaveral by next spring or summer.

Boe is a former shuttle pilot; Mann will be making her first trip into space.

His father, Ian Ferguson, a computer salesman who died of cancer in 1981, prominently displayed in their house a framed autograph of Alan Shepard, the first American in space.

The first Starliner post-certification mission, yet to be formally scheduled, will fly NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Sunita Williams. The space agency's current arrangement with Russian Federation for Soyuz seats is set to run out in January 2020, a date that has already been stretched by extending upcoming ISS expeditions beyond six months.

Here's what we know about the first-ever astronauts to take part in a new space race. It will be Glover's first mission. They will mark the first astronaut launches from USA soil since the 2011 retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet. "We're returning to a full-capability ascent abort system to keep astronauts safe all the way through the profile, and that's something that the shuttle didn't have". NASA worked closely with the companies to engineer both spacecraft. "I'll tell you, being able to launch to the International Space Station from US soil, I can't imagine better", Cassada said. Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the National Space Council that has helped shape the Trump administration's space policies, also weighed in.

NASA has unveiled the first astronaut crews to fly on private spaceships built by SpaceX and Boeing. While in the Air Force, he flew in 55 combat missions over Iraq. He flew on a Space Shuttle Endeavour mission in 2008 and a Space Shuttle Discovery mission in 2011.

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Doug Hurley: Hurley came to NASA from the Marine Corps in 2000.

"This is the stuff of dreams ... this is a test pilot's dream", he said. Ferguson is the only non-NASA astronaut. When Atlantis returned to Earth on July 21, 2011, Ferguson was the last person to step off the shuttle. NASA picked Crew Dragon and Starliner to replace the space shuttle for ISS transportation back in 2014.

Robert Behnken is from St. Ann, Missouri. He is an Air Force colonel with a doctorate in engineering. He's performed six spacewalks totaling almost 40 hours. Those were Behnken, Boe, Hurley and Williams. He served more than 24 years in the US Marine Corps as a fighter pilot and a test pilot.

Victor Glover: Glover was selected as an astronaut in 2013 after a career in the Navy as a test pilot.

Glover and Cassada are spaceflight rookies.

Suni Williams: Williams grew up in Needham, Massachusetts.

For Crew Dragon, the now confirmed crew includes Navy commander, aviator, and test pilot Victor Glover.

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