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SpaceX cargo capsule comes back to Earth from space station

SpaceX cargo capsule comes back to Earth from space station

NASA on Friday announced the first astronauts who will fly into space on US -made commercial spacecraft - which will be the agency's first manned missions in years.

In a recent report, the Government Accountability Office said that further delays in NASA's so-called "Commercial Crew" program could "disrupt access to" the space station, which would be an enormous embarrassment for NASA after investing about $100 billion to build and operate it.

The first Boeing trip to the orbiting outpost includes Josh Cassada, who has never been in space before, and Suni Williams, who is one of the most experienced American astronauts in history, having spent a cumulative 321 days in orbit through her career.

NASA has named nine astronauts to crew the first test flights and missions of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.

"We're flying American astronauts on American rockets from American soil", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said during the presentation ceremony at the Johnson Space Center of Houston.

This crew is made up of three astronauts: Eric Boe, who was the pilot of the space shuttle Endeavor; Chris Ferguson, who took part in the last launch; and rookie Nicole A. Mann.

Space X's Dragon will be tested by Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, and Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins will be on the crew for that mission.

Bridenstine also introduced the crews of the first missions to the International Space Station by each new craft, which will follow the test flights. He joined the astronaut corps in 2000 and flew aboard space shuttle Endeavour twice, for the STS-123 and STS-130 missions, during which he performed six spacewalks totaling more than 37 hours. In light of that, watching them train and then fly these missions over the next year or so should be fun for all involved. Mann was selected as an astronaut in 2013. Many spacecraft, including Crew Dragon and Starliner, use hypergolic propellant for abort engines because it ignites on contact and is a good choice for quickly blasting a crew capsule away from a failing rocket.

It is on the subsequent missions that the crew capsules will head to the space station and dock.

Boeing has since identified the problem he said, and is working to fix it. NASA has been paying Russian Federation for flights launched from remote Kazakhstan to the ISS ever since, banking on its Commercial Crew Program to develop a cheaper, reliable and safe American-based alternative.

Since the shuttle was retired seven years ago, USA astronauts have had to fly on Russian rockets from a remote launch site in Kazakhstan.

"The first flight is something you dream about as a test pilot", said Hurley, who flew on the last shuttle mission. It will ride atop a Falcon-9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center.

When you think about who's in charge of cutting-edge spaceflight in 2018, SpaceX is probably the first name that comes to mind. And it's now apparent that SpaceX is slightly ahead-it will conduct a crewed test flight in April of next year, while Boeing's crewed test is only scheduled for "mid-2019".

Four of the five astronauts named to the first Crew Dragon and Starliner flights are spaceflight veterans. She has logged 322 days in space.

A commercial Dragon cargo craft launched June 29 departed the International Space Station and returned to Earth on Friday with almost two tons of cargo and research samples. Crew members have worked years with companies to get here and they said they can not wait for the flights to begin next year.

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