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NASA Names Its Astronauts For the First Dragon and CST-100 Flights 38

schwit1 writes with news that NASA has named the four government astronauts that will fly on the first manned demo flights to ISS of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's CST-100. From Florida Today's report: Bob Behnken, Eric Boe, Doug Hurley and Sunita Williams are veteran test pilots who have flown on the shuttle and the International Space Station. NASA said the four astronauts will train with both companies and have not yet been assigned to flights. Two-person crews will fly the first test flights by each capsule, after they have completed an orbital test flight without people on board. Company proposals anticipate an all-NASA crew flying SpaceX's Dragon test flight, with Boeing's CST-100 carrying a split NASA-Boeing crew. Boeing has not yet identified its astronaut.
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NASA Names Its Astronauts For the First Dragon and CST-100 Flights

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  • true "spam in the can".
    • Hey, cut these folks some slack. They are darned brave individuals, who fly on birth flights of new space technology. It's "The Right Stuff" . . . um, stuff.

      I'll buy any one of them a beer any day . . . and throw in dinner, as well.

      I wish them the best of luck on their flights!

    • How do you expect to sell a spam can that has never been used to transport spam before? Someone has to be first.

      They'll obviously fly these capsules with test dummies or other test equipment first, but again, someone has to be the first actual human to fly.

  • All Shuttle Vets (Score:5, Informative)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @09:05AM (#50088165) Journal
    Same story, better link. [universetoday.com]

    Congratulations, one and all.

  • four government astronauts?

    So will there be non-goverment astronuts?

  • they have not yet found all the reasons for the exploding rocket disaster and already announce that they will put humans in there soon. wow.
    • I thought the same thing. If only I had mod points for you. I wonder if the guys riding the Falcon 9 whose explosion is yet to be understood are collectively thinking, "oh crap...".
      • Only if they're a stupid as you - which I doubt. They won't be flying until the cause is understood and the escape system validated.

        • That wasn't very nice of you to say. You're also [stupidly] assuming that

          1) Survival instinct is trumped by rationality
          2) The astronauts have complete faith in SpaceX's ability to correctly identify and solve the problem that didn't show up on their boards at all

          There is no reason why these people can't be of two minds about this topic.
          • Re:great timing (Score:4, Insightful)

            by bledri ( 1283728 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @03:19PM (#50089841)

            That wasn't very nice of you to say. You're also [stupidly] assuming that 1) Survival instinct is trumped by rationality 2) The astronauts have complete faith in SpaceX's ability to correctly identify and solve the problem that didn't show up on their boards at all There is no reason why these people can't be of two minds about this topic.

            There're astronauts. They choose to do this for a career. They spent their entire educations and careers focussed on getting into space. They are all test pilots and all of them flew missions on the Space Shuttle after NASA lost two of them and choose to compete for flying on commercial crew. NASA, the NTSB, and the FAA have to approve every item that SpaceX removes from the fault tree analysis. They aren't just trusting SpaceX.

            Yes, they have a survival instinct, and yes they constantly override it with rationality. And the reward they get is to work on the ISS and orbit the Earth.

    • This is a program that has been in development for several years, and people won't be flying in it any earlier than 2017.
      There will be several unmanned missions before there are people on them.
      And Boeing also has a capsule and they hadn't had any rockets exploding recently.

      SpaceX is running their investigation, NASA is making an announcement about astronauts being selected for training for future flight.
      So what's your point exactly?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Rockets are inherently dangerous things. That risk is mitigated by implementing a launch escape system on anything with people in it. SpaceX's launch abort system is a really cool design, too. Compared to the shuttle, a second generation Falcon 9 + crewed dragon is way safer statistically (probably. I'm just some guy on the internet.)

    • Re:great timing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bledri ( 1283728 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @03:03PM (#50089765)

      they have not yet found all the reasons for the exploding rocket disaster and already announce that they will put humans in there soon. wow.

      Wow indeed. But only in regard to your lack of understanding of how things get done in the real world. The first human launch on an F9 is over two years from now. That is plenty of time to identify and fix the problem, or if they can't (a ridiculously unlikely outcome) then they can make a new plan.

      Or should we have shutdown all civil air travel until MH370 is found and the root cause analysis is complete?

      P.S. In case you are unaware, there are two commercial crew providers. Only one of them use the F9. That's by design. It's called redundancy.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @12:18PM (#50088855)

    The more interesting answer to ask for... at some point down the road, will be: "After having trained with both companies, which vehicle would you prefer to crew?".

    • by bledri ( 1283728 )

      The more interesting answer to ask for... at some point down the road, will be: "After having trained with both companies, which vehicle would you prefer to crew?".

      Politically, they would never answer that question beyond "they are both great craft and I'm glad to have the opportunity to fly on either one."

      Realistically, it will come down to a matter of personal preference and getting our panties in a bunch is no different than a vim and emacs holy war.

  • That takes nothing away from them. In a way, it adds to them. Ask Scott Crossfield, Chuck Yeager, or a hundred other test pilots whose name you'll never know.

    These people sign up knowing the risk. It's their business, and no one else's, whether they so choose. Godspeed to them.

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