The Astronauts who Would Have Tested Starliner Have Been Reassigned to an Upcoming SpaceX Crew Dragon Launch12 Oct 2021, 20:21 UTC
In 2011, NASA announced a bold new program to leverage partnerships between the government and the commercial space sector to restore domestic launch capability. As part of the Commercial Crew Program (CCP), NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX to develop next-generation crew-rated capsules that would transport astronauts and payloads to International Space Station (ISS) and other locations in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO).
While SpaceX has managed to meet all the requirements of the CCP with their Crew Dragon module, Boeing’s Starliner has experienced technical problems and several delays. With the latest delay (caused by the ISS being temporarily pushed out of its orbit), NASA has decided to reassign the astronauts that were scheduled to take the Starliner on its maiden crewed flight (Starliner-1) to the next crewed flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon to the ISS (Crew-5).
Henceforth, NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot for the Crew-5 mission (respectively), with additional crew members to be announced later. This mission is currently scheduled to launch no sooner than the fall of 2022 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
An artist’s illustration of Boeing’s ...