Nasa replaces astronaut for 1st Boeing mission to ISS

Mike Fincke

Eric Boe, NASA astronaut, pulled from upcoming flight due to medical issues

NASA doesn't offer much in the way of details surrounding the decision to shuffle the astronauts other than to say that Boe 'is unable to fly due to medical reasons.' Boe was originally announced as a member of the crew in August 2018.

NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. According to a Sputnik source, its unmanned launch to the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for March 28, while the manned flight, which Fincke will take part in, is slated for August 27.

Four years later, Fincke launched to space for the second time as Commander of Expedition 18.

Perhaps the most famous medical-related crew shuffle was Apollo 13, when Ken Mattingly was removed from the crew just three days before launch when he was exposed to the German measles - which he never contracted. Three shuttle astronauts also were reassigned due to medical issues.

"Hopefully, one day, everyone will be an astronaut, get the opportunity to go to space, and we'll be sitting on the moon going, 'Why is my moon ship late?' and not really thinking about the technology", Boe said.

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If successful, Boeing's Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon, reportedly due to make its first launch - unmanned - on February 9, will mark the first time in history NASA has sent astronauts to space on systems "owned, built, tested and operated by private companies". Officials said Fincke will begin training immediately with Mann and Ferguson.

Michael "Mike" Fincke has been added to the crew of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner's Crew Flight Test, scheduled to launch later this year. The other two people assigned to the flight, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and former NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, now a test pilot for Boeing, will remain on the flight.

NASA says a medical issue is forcing a switch in the crew for the Boeing Starliner space taxi's first crewed test flight to the International Space Station, now scheduled for no earlier than August.

The Starliner crew mission will be Fincke's fourth space trip.

SpaceX now is preparing for an initial unpiloted test flight later this month. The capsule and Falcon rocket had been on the launch pad Wednesday for a take a look at engine firing. NASA has changed the person who was there in Boeing's first launch with a crew. Again, no official target dates have been announced. He replaced Eric Boe who was assigned to the mission in August past year.

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