WASHINGTON — NASA introduced Jan. 22 that it’s changing an astronaut who was scheduled to fly on a industrial crew check flight later this yr due to a medical challenge.
The company mentioned that Eric Boe has been taken off the crew of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner crewed check flight, and shall be changed by veteran NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. Boe will take over Fincke’s earlier place as assistant to the chief of the astronaut workplace for industrial crew.
In its assertion, NASA mentioned solely that Boe would now not be capable to fly on the Starliner check flight “as a result of medical causes.” The opposite two individuals assigned to the flight, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and former NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, now a check pilot for Boeing, will stay on the flight.
Boe, 54, joined the NASA astronaut corps in 2000 and flew on two shuttle flights, STS-126 in 2008 and STS-133 in 2011. The latter flight was the final mission of the shuttle Discovery earlier than its retirement, because the shuttle program wound down.
Fincke, 51, joined the NASA astronaut corps in 1996. He flew on two long-duration missions to the Worldwide Area Station on Soyuz spacecraft in 2004 and 2008–2009, in addition to the ultimate flight of the shuttle Endeavour, STS-134, in 2011. Fincke spent 381 days in area on these three missions, together with greater than 48 hours of EVA time on 9 spacewalks.
NASA announced the original crew assignments for the CST-100 Starliner check flight and for a separate SpaceX Crew Dragon check flight in August. The company additionally introduced on the time crews for the primary operational missions for these automobiles.
The newest schedule for industrial crew check flights requires Boeing to carry out an uncrewed check flight of Starliner in March, adopted by the crewed check flight in August. NASA, in its assertion asserting the change in crews, mentioned solely that the crewed check flight is scheduled for “later this yr.”
The uncrewed check flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is now scheduled for February, NASA introduced Jan. 10. That launch, beforehand scheduled for Jan. 17, was delayed to supply extra time “to finish testing and joint opinions,” the company mentioned then. The Falcon 9 that can launch the spacecraft arrived on the Launch Complicated 39A Jan. 22 for a static hearth check anticipated as quickly as Jan. 23. The crewed check flight will observe no sooner than June.