What’s going on in the world of commercial spaceflight?
Lately, the news world has been abuzz with all kinds of space related news, from the solar nanoflare activity to the planetary conjunction to the SpaceX explosion and the Pluto mission updates. Now, NASA has released a press release stating that a team for the first commercial spaceflight has been selected.
It seems that July has been a good month for space science, given past events. The month has seen iconic events such as the rover on the Moon, to the impending arrival of the New Horizons probe around the atmosphere of Pluto.
The down low on the first commercial spaceflight
The announcement of the news was released by Administrator Charles Bolden. The names of each of the four lucky astronauts that will fly on the commercial spaceflights were given. The flights were organized with the idea in mind that they would return to American ground instead having space launches done in other countries.
As part of this effort to return commercial flights to the nation’s soil, NASA has put forth the effort to have other companies compete with each other to build reusable spacecraft for resupplying purposes. This is all in order to eventually have the successful supply launch turn into the seemingly inevitable human launch. Of course that is still in the works with the recent explosion of the SpaceX rocket after it was launched.
The crew of the first commercial spaceflight
The names of the four-man crew are as follows: Robert Behnken, Sunita Williams, Eric Boe, and Douglas Hurley. All were chosen for the first commercial flight, in the hopes that it will take place in the year 2017. Soon after this announcement of who the crew members are, subsequent training for the mission begins.
NASA’s focus on getting astronauts out into space for the purpose of commercial spaceflight is a steady one and will probably become an eventual reality. By returning space launches to American soil, we can invest in ourselves once more instead of becoming dependent on foreign companies and space agencies for the launches. But for now, it is one step at a time.