Saturday, 23 February, 2019

NASA swaps out astronauts for first manned flight on Boeing's new ship

Eric Boe, NASA astronaut, pulled from upcoming flight due to medical issues NASA announces test flight crew change for Boeing's Starliner
Cary Marshall | 25 January, 2019, 20:50

It can accommodate a crew of up to seven astronauts, or five when cargo is fitted inside and has been designed in such a way that it can be reused ten times before replacing.

Due to medical reasons, NASA has had to swap out one astronaut for another. The first and still best known was Ken Mattingly, who was pulled from the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission three days before launch because of exposure to measles.

Recently, nearly all reassignments have been for personal medical issues.

"Hopefully, one day, everyone will be an astronaut, get the opportunity to go to space, and we'll be sitting on the moon going, 'Why is my moon ship late?' and not really thinking about the technology", Boe said.

The Starliner's Crew Flight Test will be the first time that the new spacecraft, which is being developed and built by Boeing as part of Nasa's Commercial Crew Programme, is launched into space with humans on board. Both companies plan an unpiloted test flight followed by an initial crewed test launch later this year.

NASA has announced a replacement of an astronaut for Boeing Starliner's first crewed flight, scheduled later 2019.

Fincke joins astronauts Nicole Mann from NASA and Chris Ferguson from Boeing for the mission.

More news: Anthony Joshua's Opponent Could Be Determined This Week

Michael "Mike" Fincke will replace Boe on the Boeing CST-100 Starliner's first flight test with crew scheduled to launch no earlier than August.

SpaceX now is preparing for an initial unpiloted test flight later this month. The Falcon 9 that will launch the spacecraft arrived at the Launch Complex 39A January 22 for a static fire test expected as soon as January 23.

In August 2018, Boe was officially selected to fly the Boeing Starliner crew test flight. Again, no official target dates have been announced.

NASA astronaut Mike Fincke tests the Orion spaceship exit procedure at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas.

Boe is a veteran of two Shuttle flight; he served as Pilot of Endeavour during her STS-126 mission in November 2008 to the Space Station and as Pilot of Discovery's 39th and final mission, STS-133, in February 2011.

During Expedition 9, Fincke performed four spacewalks, or EVAs (Extravehicular Activities), in support of future Space Station construction and operations activities.

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