Rookies to Hitch Rides on SpaceX, Boeing’s First Crewed Flights

Three rookies of spaceflight are among the crew of astronauts strapping intoSpace Exploration Technologies Corp. andBoeing Co. capsules on the companies’ first flights with humans on board.

NASA assigned Victor Glover to flywith SpaceX and Josh Cassada and Nicole Aunapu Mann to launchwith Boeing in tests and missions scheduled to begin over the course of the next year. The six other astronauts the agency introduced Friday in Houston joined NASA from the U.S. Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps.

NASA awarded Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing a combined $6.8 billion in September 2014 to revive the U.S.’s ability to fly to the International Space Station without buying seats on Russian capsules. On Thursday, NASAannounced that SpaceX has scheduled Demo-2, its first crewed test flight, for April 2019. Boeing’s maiden mission with astronauts on board, called Crew Test Flight, is slated for mid-2019.

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