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Rookies to hitch rides on SpaceX, Boeing's first crewed flights

Dana Hull

Bloomberg

| Mon, August 6, 2018 | 05:08 pm
Rookies to hitch rides on SpaceX, Boeing's first crewed flights

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rests on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 5, 2018. (AFP/Jim Watson)

Three rookies of spaceflight are among the crew of astronauts strapping into Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Boeing Co. capsules on the companies’ first flights with humans on board.

NASA assigned Victor Glover to fly with SpaceX and Josh Cassada and Nicole Aunapu Mann to launch with Boeing in tests and missions scheduled to begin over the course of the next year. The six other astronauts the agency introduced Friday in Houston joined NASA from the U.S. Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps.

Read also: NASA picks a dozen astronauts from a pool of 3 million

NASA awarded Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing a combined $6.8 billion in September 2014 to revive the U.S.’s ability to fly to the International Space Station without buying seats on Russian capsules. On Thursday, NASA announced that SpaceX has scheduled Demo-2, its first crewed test flight, for April 2019. Boeing’s maiden mission with astronauts on board, called Crew Test Flight, is slated for mid-2019.

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