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NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. Commercial transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time and broader opportunities for discovery on the orbiting laboratory.
The station is a critical testbed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight. As commercial companies focus on providing human transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA is freed up to focus on building spacecraft and rockets for deep space missions.
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The Commercial Crew Program represents a revolutionary approach to government and commercial collaborations for the advancement of space exploration. To learn more, click HERE.
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In January, 2019, NASA announced that astronaut Mike Fincke would replace Eric Boe for Boeing's Crew Flight Test.
Behind every triumph of space exploration are thousands of men and women, focused, determined, and committed to success. The Commercial Crew Program is no different.
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Nine U.S. astronauts are working with Boeing or SpaceX for specific mission training. The crew are working side-by-side with Boeing and SpaceX to understand the new spacecraft and launch systems, the spacesuits, and refining how they’re going to operate in space.
The astronauts also are preparing to live and work aboard the space station, where they could stay for up to six months. The astronauts go through significant preparation for space station missions, including learning how to conduct spacewalks, maintain the space station and perform a myriad of research investigations covering all scientific disciplines.
The astronauts have participated in many nominal and off-nominal mission simulations, studying every aspect of their spacecraft, as well as launch, in-orbit and landing procedures. This intense work ensures they are prepared for any situation that may arise during their mission.
Images below link to the image as found on flickr.
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NASA, Boeing, and SpaceX, with the help of contractors throughout America, are on the cusp of something amazing. Men and women at locations across the country have dedicated countless hours to the Commercial Crew Program to achieve a common goal: restore our nation’s ability to launch humans to the International Space Station from U.S. soil.
This government-private industry partnership has significant economic benefits, with more than 1,000 suppliers employing workers in all 50 states to support commercial crew spacecraft systems. Great minds are applying their most efficient and innovative approaches to launch astronauts back into low-Earth orbit on American-made spacecraft and rockets.
Crew safety remains NASA’s primary responsibility and priority for all human spaceflight programs. Since the beginning of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, safety has been built into the agency’s requirements as a direct result of NASA’s extensive experience in human spaceflight systems development and operations.
NASA and its commercial partners, Boeing and SpaceX, have developed systems that prioritize crew safety and survival, including launch pad emergency escape and egress systems. When commercial crew launches astronauts on test flights, both companies will have completed an uncrewed flight test to the International Space Station and demonstrated their ability to safely fly astronauts away from an emergency situation.
These commercial systems are required to meet NASA’s safety and performance requirements to be certified to transport NASA and international partner astronauts to the space station.
The NextGen STEM Commercial Crew Program brings the accomplishments of NASA and our commercial partners, Boeing and SpaceX, to audiences through a variety of educational resources and opportunities. These hands-on, authentic STEM activities and classroom resources, including apps like “Rocket Science: Ride to Station,” engage students and educators in the mission while helping build a strong and growing U.S. space industry in low Earth orbit by providing meaningful STEM experiences to the future generation of explorers.
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To access the app, click HERE.