NASA has named nine U.S. astronauts who will fly aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner space taxis as part of the first crewed flight test and mission to the International Space Station.
The spaceflight capability will provide the space agency an opportunity to maintain a seven-person crew on the ISS to support scientific research efforts and technology demonstrations, NASA said Friday.
The astronauts assigned to the Starliner’s initial test flight mission are Christopher Ferguson, a retired U.S. Navy captain who has played an integral role in Boeing’s Starliner program; Eric Boe, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel; and Nicole Aunapu Mann, a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and an F/A-18 test pilot.
“We congratulate all the astronauts chosen to fly to the space station on commercially developed systems,” added Caret, a two-time Wash100 recipient.
Josh Cassada, a Navy commander and test pilot, and Sunita Williams, a retired Navy captain and test pilot, will fly the Boeing-built spacecraft for its initial crewed mission to the orbiting laboratory.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft’s test flight astronauts are Robert Behnken, an Air Force colonel and flight test engineer; and Douglas Hurley, a retired Marine Corps colonel and test pilot; while Victor Glover, a Navy commander and test pilot; and Michael Hopkins, an Air Force colonel; will take part in the SpaceX-built spacecraft’s first ISS crewed mission.
Boeing’s Starliner will take off aboard United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will lift off aboard the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Florida-based Kennedy Space Center.