NASA on Thursday named four astronauts to take part in training for SpaceX and Chicago-based Boeing’s commercial crew spacecraft.
The announcement comes even as SpaceX investigates recent setbacks in its program, including the explosion of an unmanned supply Falcon 9 vehicle last week.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden made the announcement of the program, which will see the astronauts train with test pilots from the respective companies for maiden voyages in the Draon crew module and the Boeing CST-100.
I am pleased to announce that four American space pioneers have been selected to be the first astronauts to train to fly to space on commercial crew vehicles, all part of our ambitious plan to return space launches to U.S. soil, create good-paying American jobs and advance our goal of sending humans farther into the solar system than ever before. These distinguished, veteran astronauts are blazing a new trail, a trail that will one day land them in the history books and Americans on the surface of Mars. (Click on each astronaut’s name to learn more about him or her!).
The astronauts are: