NASA names its astronauts for the first Dragon and CST-100 flights

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The competition heats up: NASA today 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.

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.


  • Jim

    I love these bits from the blog post announcement:

    “our ambitious plan to return space launches to U.S. soil, create good-paying American jobs”

    “For as long as I’ve been Administrator, President Obama has made it very clear that returning the launches of American astronauts to American soil is a top priority – and he has persistently supported this initiative in his budget requests to Congress. Had we received everything he asked for, we’d be preparing to send these astronauts to space on commercial carriers as soon as this year.”

    “Furthermore, there are real economic benefits to bolstering America’s emerging commercial space market. We have over 350 American companies working across 36 states on our commercial crew initiative. Every dollar we invest in commercial crew is a dollar we invest in ourselves, rather than in the Russian economy.”

    Can we please eliminate the propaganda arm of NASA? Why can’t we have a simple announcement about astronauts and not muck it up with political BS?

  • You want to eliminate the propaganda? Then you as a voter have got to stop supporting big government operations like NASA. You can’t have one without the other. It is the nature of government and its misuse of power.

    Just sayin’.

  • mpthompson

    Interesting that SpaceX is intending for the early manned Dragon missions to the ISS to be manned by NASA astronauts only. I wonder if they intend for parallel test flights of Dragon with only SpaceX crew, or they just don’t see the promotional value of having their own crew members worth the cost and expense above what NASA is paying them.

  • geoffc

    And Sunita Williams has such awesome hair on orbit! Looks like Medusa!

  • David M. Cook

    Geoff, you’re not supposed to comment on female astronauts’ hair or appearance! Look at all the static guys got when that Russian gal went into space & the (stupid) reporters could only ask her about her hair.

    I prefer to focus on Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who brought fresh-brewed coffee to the ISS.

    THAT’S the kind of space science I can get behind! Plus, she’s very good looking.

    (Dang! Now I’m doing it!).

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