NASA Is Naming 8 Astronauts To Fly SpaceX

NASA Is Naming 8 Astronauts To Fly SpaceX
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02 Aug, 2018 Uploaded by: Mick Presentation
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On Friday, the space agency plans to announce crews for the first flights of SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner. NASA will broadcast video of the announcement, and you can watch live starting around 11 a.m. EDT via the embed at the end of this post. The announcement is a big deal because the last American crew-carrying spacecraft - NASA's fleet of four space shuttle orbiters - retired in July 2011. Since then, NASA has been forced to rely solely on Russia's increasingly expensive Soyuz spaceships to get to the International Space Station (ISS), in which the US government has invested about $100 billion. SpaceX and Boeing's new spacecraft are shaping up to be two solutions to that problem. They're both the result of NASA's Commercial Crew Program: a nearly 10-year-long, $8-billion effort to maintain access to orbit for US astronauts. However, both companies still have to prove that their vehicles can fly to the ISS and return safely to Earth. To certify that the Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner are ready to become NASA's new go-to space taxis, SpaceX and Boeing are each planning three test missions. Flights without any people are expected before the end of 2018, followed by two crewed missions sometime in 2019. (The first test flights were originally slated to launch in 2017, but the program didn't meet that deadline.)

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