The astronauts for NASA’s Commercial Crew program will be announced today. Stay Tuned!
Today, August 3rd, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will be announcing the names of the astronauts included in its Commercial Crew program. The U.S. space agency’s astronaut picks will be announced live at 11:00 AM EDT from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
The chosen astronauts will be flying the first crewed test flights of NASA using Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicles. The program is currently scheduled for 2019.
Back in 2015, NASA introduced four veteran astronauts that they were training to fly commercial spacecraft. The list of trainees includes Bob Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley, and Sunita Williams. All four have been working with Boeing and SpaceX to conduct hardware test flights and simulations for both the Starliner and Crew Dragon.
In a statement released by NASA, they will be announcing today the “crew assignments for the crew flight tests and the first post-certification missions for both Boeing and SpaceX.”
“NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems designed to carry crews safely to and from low-Earth orbit. The Starliner and Crew Dragon will launch American astronauts on American-made spacecraft from American soil to the International Space Station for the first time since NASA retired its Space Shuttle Program in 2011,” NASA said.
“Commercial transportation to and from the space station will enable expanded station use, additional research time and broader opportunities of discovery aboard the orbiting laboratory. The station is critical for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight, and necessary for a sustainable presence on the Moon and missions deeper into the solar system, including Mars.”
You may watch the announcement live on NASA TV or below.
After the announcement, the astronauts will be participating in a Reddit Ask Me Anything at 12:30 PM EDT.