Last year was a huge year for private space travel, with a steady stream of very successful launches and big advances in more ambitious ventures. It looks as if 2019 will be an even bigger test for SpaceX, as will its competitor Boeing. Both groups are expected to soon begin with their new manned spacecraft systems, which will eventually meet NASA's needs, but first, NASA must ensure that it provides its crews. Astronauts expected to participate in the very first manned flight of the Boeing Starliner Ship that will bring travelers to and from the International Space Station ISS.
During the exchange, the astronaut Eric Boe is removed from the planned crew plan and replaced by Mike Fincke. NASA does not provide much detail on the decision to mix the astronauts, except that Boe "can not fly for medical reasons." Boe was originally announced in August 201
Boeing is expected to be the first commercial partner to accommodate passengers with its manned spacecraft. However, many things could change as both Boeing and SpaceX have to prove to NASA that their ships can safely transport astronauts.
Before either SpaceX's Crew Dragon or Boeing's Starliner are allowed to carry a crew, both companies demonstrate the capabilities of their hardware with unmanned test flights closely monitored by NASA.