Capitalism in space: Boeing’s company astronaut chosen to command the first manned mission of its Starliner capsule has stepped down because the flight would prevent him from attending his daughter’s wedding next year.
In a video posted to his Twitter account, Ferguson said it was a difficult decision, but “next year is very important for my family.” He said he has several commitments “which I simply cannot risk missing.” A Boeing spokeswoman confirmed one is his daughter’s wedding. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m just not going into space next year,” Ferguson said. He stressed that he remains committed to the Starliner program and will continue to work for Boeing.
This is the second crew change for this mission. Earlier NASA astronaut Eric Boe had had to back out due to medical reasons.
Assuming the second unmanned Starliner demo mission scheduled for the December-January timeframe succeeds, the first manned mission will happen in June ’21, and last anywhere from two weeks to six months.
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