NASA to announce which astronauts will fly on first commercial spaceships

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NASA has worked closely with the companies throughout design, development and testing to ensure the systems meet NASA's safety and performance requirements.

"We are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil", NASA posted on Twitter, quoting Administrator Jim Bridenstine during the Launch America announcement. "I look forward, sir, to getting you down there at some point out in Hawthorne [SpaceX's California headquarters] and maybe you can sit next to us in the cockpit and go through flying the iPhone to dock to space station".

NASA will announce the astronauts for the first test flights and missions of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft Friday. Eric Boe, retired Navy Capt.

"The first flight is something you dream about as a test pilot", said Hurley, who flew on the last shuttle mission.

Christopher Ferguson is a native of Philadelphia. The expanded nine-member commercial crew cadre now features six spaceflight veterans, including Chris Ferguson, commander of that final shuttle mission and now a Boeing vice president, and three rookies.

This mission will mark SpaceX's first operational crew mission under our current Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with NASA.

Nicole Aunapu Mann: Mann was born in California and is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps.

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Earlier this year, NASA unveiled a commercial crew schedule that called for the first uncrewed test flights by SpaceX and Boeing this month.

Some of the astronauts chosen - seven men and two women - are veteran spaceflyers, and some will be making their first trips to space. On Monday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed a report that claimed NASA estimates the firm will be ready for people-carrying space adventures as early as April next year.

Team Boeing consists of retired Air Force Col.

At the helm will be Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. He has flown to space twice before this, both on space shuttle missions.

SpaceX's crewed Dragon capsule will launch atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

The first regular mission of Crew Dragon will be carried out by Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins.

NASA says that its astronauts will be joined by other worldwide crew members, to be announced later on.

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Eric Boe: Boe was born in Florida and grew up in Atlanta. These test flights will provide invaluable data on how rockets, ground systems, operations and the spacecraft themselves perform. A rookie to spaceflight, Cassada was selected by NASA in 2013. It will be first spaceflight for 45-year-old Cassada while Williams has the experience of two stays at the ISS.

Sunita Williams was born in Euclid, Ohio, but considers Needham, Massachusetts, her hometown.

When Glover left San Luis Obispo almost 20 years ago, he joined the U.S. Navy and began his career as a Naval Aviator and test pilot. The astronauts have been training with SpaceX and Boeing, on top of their NASA work, ever since.

Victor Glover is from Pomona, California.

"As a test pilot, it doesn't get any better than this", she added.

"It's absolutely an opportunity of a lifetime", said Mann, who was selected as an astronaut in 2013.

Mike Hopkins: Hopkins was raised on a farm near Richland, Missouri, and he has a master's in aerospace engineering. Each company will also conduct an unscrewed test mission prior to the test flights. Additional team members will be assigned by NASA's worldwide partners at a later date.

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