Florida tech’s Sunita Williams among first astronauts to launch from U.S. soil since shuttle program
BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – Vice President Mike Pence will be at Kennedy Space Center on August 3 to announce the first astronaut crews under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams were selected in 2015 to become the first astronauts to launch from U.S. soil since NASA’s shuttle program lapsed in 2011.
They will also become the first U.S. astronauts to ride in spacecraft made by a private company—SpaceX and Boeing.
Williams, who earned a master’s degree in engineering management from Florida Institute of Technology spent 322 days in space on two shuttle missions and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden called the astronauts “space pioneers.”
Pence, who chairs the National Space Council, will confirm a new launch date for the first private crew missions and announce which crew capsules each of the four selected astronauts will travel in to the International Space Station.
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