NASA Replaces Astronaut from Boeing Starliner Capsule Crew

Boeing Starliner capsule 1 photo
Photo: Boeing
The most exciting events this year for space exploration will be the launch of the crewed capsules manufactured by SpaceX and Boeing. Once done, 2019 will mark the first time since 2011 when astronauts will be sent to orbit from American soil.
The two flights are scheduled for later this year, but NASA announced ever since August 2018 the names of the astronauts who will be on board both capsules. For Boeing, those names were Eric Boe and Christopher Ferguson, both shuttle missions veterans, accompanied by rookie Nicole Aunapu Mann.

This week, the American space agency announced a change in plans, as Eric Boe, a former pilot for the Endeavour and Discovery shuttles, is currently experiencing a medical problem that will prevent him from flying.

Boe will be replaced onboard the Starliner by Michael Fincke, an astronaut who previously served on the International Space Station as flight engineer and commander.

Because a change in crew at this late stage during preparations could cause concern, Fincke will begin training immediately alongside the other two members of the crew.

The Boeing Starliner capsule will depart atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The capsule is meant to deliver astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station for now, and to further targets later on. It can accommodate a crew of up to seven astronauts, or five when cargo is fitted inside and has been designed in such a way that it can be reused ten times before replacing.

The Starliner will be capable of something no other capsule was capable of before: landing on solid soil rather than on water. This is possible thanks to the use of an airbag landing system in addition to the parachutes, which will be used to soften the impact with the ground.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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