Estonian descendant Nicole Aunapu Mann selected for American space flights

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In 2013, she was one of the eight candidates selected from more than 6,300 applicants to train as an astronaut for NASA, and the agency later announced Mann could be one of the first astronauts sent on a mission to Mars.

"For the first time since 2011, we are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil", Bridenstine said.

The Starliner test flight will send former military personnel Eric Boe, Christopher Ferguson and Nicole Aunapu Mann on a groundbreaking mission.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Friday (local time) announced the names of the first astronauts to fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station.

US astronauts now take Russian capsules to the space station, with NASA paying as much as $82 million a seat.

NASA is now assigning crew members to these test missions, and will work with both companies and the Eastern range to clear launch dates that will allow all science investigations and other operations on the ISS will not be interrupted. On Monday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed a report that claimed NASA estimates the firm will be ready for people-carrying space adventures as early as April next year.


Boeing Starliner's flight will be known as the Orbital Flight Test, and it will depart atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

She later said the energy in the packed auditorium was incredible.

Taking the stage Friday before a huge American flag, Gwynne Shotwell, the president of SpaceX, told the crews: "What a sacred honor this was to be part of this program and to fly you".

As per IT House, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft was launched on June 29, carrying a massive 2,697 kilograms of cargo to the International Space Station, which included experimental materials, spacewalking equipment, artificial intelligence jointly developed by IBM and Airbus. Her first was a space shuttle mission that launched in 2007, and the second was a Soyuz-launched mission in 2012.

Recently, issues relating to NASA's certification process for crewed missions came under review by the US Government Accountability Office.

Both companies will also conduct abort system test flights to ensure the astronauts can safely escape should their rockets go awry.


"Oh, it better", Bridenstine chimed in. The Boeing's first mission will be flown by Josh Cassada and Sunita Williams, and the SpaceX mission by Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins will fly aboard the Crew Dragon first mission. Those were Behnken, Boe, Hurley and Williams.

The return of crew flights to US soil will end NASA's politically inconvenient reliance on Russian Federation for transporting astronauts to the ISS. On one side, Boeing showed off its spacesuit, a handsome blue uniform, next to SpaceX's sleek black-and-white suit.

The group likened piloting a modern spaceship to driving an iPhone, with only a few switches compared to the 3,000 in the old shuttle cockpit.

Once Crew Dragon and Starliner are certified by NASA for regular use, they will be used for operational ISS flights around 2020. As the other astronauts donned NASA patches on their blue jumpsuits, Ferguson wore a Boeing applique.

For the objective of these flight demonstrations, SpaceX uncrewed and crewed test flights are referred to as SpaceX Demo-1 and Demo-2 respectively.


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