Home / Science / NASA pulls astronaut Eric Boe off its first flight with Boeing Starliner, but Mike Fincke will fly instead

NASA pulls astronaut Eric Boe off its first flight with Boeing Starliner, but Mike Fincke will fly instead

Astronaut Eric Boe during a crew announcement in August 2018 for the first manned tests of commercial crew program vehicles.
Photo: David J. Phillip (AP)

NASA has attracted astronaut Eric Boe, who was scheduled to become a crew member for the first manned test flight of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner crew capsule from Boeing in the second half of the 2019 year because he "can not fly for medical reasons," said the Space Agency on Tuesday in a statement. [19659004Becauseof22-year-oldAstronautsMichael"Mike"FinckeaformermanofstaffairweaponwiththreefliesintheworldspaceplacestationsoftheSpaceShuttleandAndeaandtheCommanderoftheInternationalSpaceStation

"Fincke takes the place of astronaut Eric Boe, who was originally assigned to the mission in August 2018," NASA wrote. "Boe can not fly for medical reasons; He will succeed Fincke as Assistant to the Chief of a Commercial Team at the Astronaut Office of NASA's Johnson Space Center. "

Fincke" previously served as the flight engineer and scientific officer of the International Space Station on Expedition 9 and commanded the station to continue expedition 18, "added NASA. "He returned to the final mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavor as mission specialist for the STS-134 crew. The native Pennsylvania-American has spent 382 days in space and nine spacewalks. "

According to Space.com, Fincke has extensive experience in working with NASA's commercial crew partner, including Boeing and rival SpaceX. The two other crewmembers who were to fly in the Starliner – NASA astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann and Boeing's Chris Ferguson, who left NASA in 2011 and has been working with the company since then – have not changed.

minutes) are not uncommon at NASA, as they usually only give a small amount of information about why such decisions are made. NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps, the first African American on the ISS to serve as a longtime crew member, said last year she had been left in the dark for months as to why she had been withdrawn from her mission. In October 2018, Epps said the experience was "really a bad thing that happened" and that their removal "was for reasons I do not really understand at this point."

However, CBS News noted that changes were made for medical reasons with Boe's reassignment being less common, "it was believed only for the fifth time in the history of the US Space Program that an astronaut was taken out of a space flight mission because of a medical problem . "

Boeing and SpaceX working on the conversion A crew-owned Dragon cargo pod is racing to see which company will be the first private company to send people into space under NASA's commercial crew program. Both companies must complete a successful, unscrewed test flight to dock at the ISS first, with SpaceX flights scheduled for February and Boeing flights for March. The launch of the SpaceX crew is scheduled for June and Boeing for August, but the program has shown delays time and time again (the space probes of both companies should initially be ready by 2017).

The schedules for their readiness could therefore change if the vehicle is not ready Ready for their test dates or something goes awry. SpaceX, which currently has a lot to do with Big Falcon Rocket and the Starship program, recently announced it would lay off 10 percent of its workforce.

The US has bought seats for the ISS on the spacecraft operated by the Soyuz rockets from the Russian space agency Roscosmos since the venerable Space Shuttle retired in 2011. But the clock is ticking, and NASA's contract to send passengers to the Soyuz expires in November 2019.

[NASA / Space.com]

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