STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION
NASA astronaut Eric Boe poses as he exits the Boeing crew capsule mock-up at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Eric Boe, one of three astronauts assigned to the first piloted test flight of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner commercial crew ship later this year has been removed from the mission due to unspecified medical issues, NASA announced Tuesday. He will be replaced by veteran astronaut Mike Fincke.
Boe will take over Fincke’s role as assistant to the chief for commercial crew operations in the astronaut office at the Johnson Space Center. In keeping with long-standing NASA policy regarding medical privacy, no details about the reason for Boe’s reassignment were provided.
In any case, Boe’s removal is believed to mark the sixth time in U.S. space program history that an astronaut was pulled from a space flight assignment because of a medical issue.
The best known were Deke Slayton, who was taken off the second Mercury mission in 1962 because of atrial fibrillation, and Ken Mattingly, who was pulled from the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission three days before launch in 1970 because of exposure to measles. Both men eventually ...