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Their voyages are scheduled to begin next year, and they would be the first American astronauts to launch from US soil since 2011. In fact, NASA is paying Boeing and SpaceX billions to fly Americans to and from the International Space Station.

On Friday, NASA revealed the nine astronauts that will fly on Boeing and SpaceX's first crewed launches.

"This is a big deal for our country, and we want America to know we're back", Bridenstine said in a speech. Using American-made spacecrafts and launching from the USA soil is a more affordable option for the US.

Hopkins had previously spent 166 days on the International Space Station, and conducted two spacewalks.

Ferguson isn't now a NASA employee, though he served as an astronaut from 1998 to 2011 and commanded the final Space Shuttle mission.

Glover is the fourth Cal Poly graduate to become an astronaut. These missions mostly include veterans from the Space Shuttle program, though it will be Aunapu Mann and Cassada's first trips to space. Bob Behnken of the Air Force and Doug Hurley, a retired Marine Corps colonel.

"This is the stuff of dreams", Glover said Friday during an event at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. "As a test pilot, it doesn't get any better than this".

An unmanned Boeing flight test is scheduled for later this year, while the first flight with the crew is expected to take place in mid-2019, NASA said. Thank you. We take it very seriously.

The nine astronauts, most with previous experience in orbit, will ride the SpaceX Dragon and Boeing Starliner capsules to the International Space Station. In any case, SpaceX is now the presumed leader of the race to capture the flag left on the station by the final space shuttle crew-a flag that has been waiting to return to Earth for eight years and counting. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, she said, founded the company in 2002 to build the safest and most reliable spacecraft possible. Four new astronaut crew mates learned about their commercial crew assignments. "That's going to help all of us understand how to live and work in space".

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"I'm sure that there is at least one Russian language instructor out there who thinks that having me fly a USA vehicle is not a bad idea", Cassada said.

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. In 2013 and 2014, Hopkins spent almost six months aboard the ISS, logging almost 13 hours of spacewalks.

NASA is just as thrilled as Boeing and SpaceX to launch a new era of partnership with commercial entities and flying commercial spacecraft, so long as it stays afloat. Boeing said only that it would fly NASA's astronauts by the middle of next year. Since the final shuttle mission ended, NASA has paid Russian Federation about $70 million per seat to carry astronauts to and from ISS. While some NASA astronauts are military officers, NASA itself is a civilian space exploration agency. And NASA could not be more excited.

Boeing Rotocraft Systems issued the following announcement on August 3.

However, if all goes well with the agency's current target test flight dates, the problem is certain to be avoided. She is an F/A-18 test pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours in more than 25 aircraft.

The crew missions have been repeatedly delayed because of technical and safety issues.

The companies are running out of buffer.

But a Government Accountability Office report published last month raised alarm bells that the project is running behind schedule, and could miss key deadlines. While there's talk of pushing NASA's last Soyuz return to January 2020, the space agency won't extend the Soyuz agreement forever. He is a colonel in the Air Force, where he was a flight test engineer before being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009.

"If neither Boeing nor SpaceX are ready to fly by November 2019, the US risks a gap in access to the ISS", says Chaplain.