HOUSTON — President Donald Trump fired off a celebratory tweet immediately to laud NASA’s first astronaut crews to fly on private spacecraft constructed by Boeing and SpaceX, a message that additionally appeared to hail the president’s proposed army Space Force.
“NASA, which is making a BIG comeback under the Trump Administration, has just named 9 astronauts for Boeing and Spacex space flights,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We have the greatest facilities in the world and we are now letting the private sector pay to use them. Exciting things happening. Space Force!”
NASA introduced the 9 astronauts that can fly on the primary crewed flights of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft throughout a ceremony right here on the company’s Johnson Space Center. The group contains eight current NASA astronauts and one Boeing astronaut. They would be the first Americans to launch into area from U.S. soil since NASA’s area shuttle program retired in 2011.Since then, the U.S. has relied on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to hold Americans area. [Meet NASA’s 1st Commercial Crew Astronauts]
NASA, which is making a BIG comeback below the Trump Administration, has simply named 9 astronauts for Boeing and Spacex area flights. We have the best amenities on the planet and we are actually letting the non-public sector pay to make use of them. Exciting issues occurring. Space Force!
— Donald J. Trump (@actualDonaldTrump) August 3, 2018
Trump’s Twitter reward for the astronauts did seem to gloss over the truth that NASA is definitely paying SpaceX and Boeing to fly American astronauts. The tweet’s second sentence appears to recommend that Boeing and SpaceX are paying the federal government to fly the missions. In reality, NASA is paying Boeing and SpaceX billions to fly Americans to and from the International Space Station.
It is true, nevertheless, that SpaceX and Boeing are paying to make use of some amenities owned by NASA and the U.S. Air Force. SpaceX has leased NASA’s historic Launch Pad 39A on the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida to launch Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. The firm additionally makes use of launchpads on the close by Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) and Vandenberg Air Force Station in California.
Boeing has leased two of NASA’s old space shuttle hangars at KSC, often known as Orbiter Processing Facilities, to construct its Starliners and home two small robotic X-37B area planes it constructed for the Air Force. Boeing can also be a part of the United Launch Alliance (together with Lockheed Martin), a launch companies firm that makes use of launchpads at each CCAFS and Vandenberg.
Trump’s assertion that NASA is making a “BIG comeback” below his administration may very well be referring to the three Space Policy Directives Trump has issued during the last six months. In December, Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 to set the moon as NASA’s subsequent purpose for astronauts. His Space Policy Directive 2, signed in May, was aimed toward streamlining laws for industrial area business. In June, Trump signed Space Policy Directive 3, directing the Commerce Department to take cost of area visitors management operations.
Trump’s congratulatory tweet ends with an emphatic “Space Force!” signoff, referring to the brand new space-centered department of the army he has ordered the Pentagon to create. While some NASA astronauts are army officers, NASA itself is a civilian area exploration company. In June, Trump directed the Department of Defense to form a Space Force because the sixth department of the U.S. army.
Boeing’s first crewed Starliner check flight shall be flown by NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu Mann and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson in mid-2019. Ferguson, a former NASA astronaut and area shuttle commander, is Boeing’s director of crew and mission methods.
SpaceX’s first crewed check flight on the Crew Dragon shall be flown by astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley in April 2019.
If these missions go nicely, astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover will fly the primary operational Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station, whereas astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada will fly the primary operational CST-100 Starliner mission.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) August 3, 2018
Trump wasn’t the one one heralding NASA’s industrial crew announcement immediately. Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the National Space Council that has helped form the Trump administration’s area insurance policies, additionally weighed in.
“Congrats to the first Americans who will travel on American rockets from American soil to the @Space_Station since 2011 aboard the @SpaceX #Dragon and @Boeing #Starliner,” Pence wrote.