Four NASA astronauts have begun to work with Boeing and SpaceX to assess spacecraft control systems and simulators in preparation for their future International Space Station missions as part of the Commercial Crew Program.
NASA said Wednesday astronauts Doug Hurley, Suni Williams, Bob Behnken and Eric Boe have been tapped to undergo training for flight tests and missions to the ISS through the program.
Boe and Behnken collaborated with NASA-Boeing flight control team led by flight director Richard Jones to simulate launch and other flight operations for the Boeing-built CST-100 Starliner spacecraft at a mission control center.
Hurley and Williams participated in the evaluation of SpaceX's Crew Dragon flight deck through a mockup of the space vehicle.
The space agency noted that Boeing finished a set of simulators in April designed for use in crew training operations for CST-100 Starliner and is building a mission simulator similar to a Starliner flight deck.
SpaceX expects to subject its spacesuit design to qualification test in 2016 and launch it for use by crews in 2017.
NASA added that SpaceX is scheduled to launch and deliver in July the Boeing-made International Docking Adapter to the orbiting laboratory through a cargo resupply mission.
The space agency said the docking adapter will be linked to a port to allow space vehicles to dock with the ISS.