Estonian descendant Nicole Aunapu Mann selected for American space flights

A support structure for Boeing's Starliner spacecraft the first flight of which has been postponed to 2019 is seen being installed in Cape Canaveral Florida in 2016

NASA introduced to the world on Friday the first USA astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station - an endeavor that will return astronaut launches to US soil for the first time since the space shuttle's retirement in 2011.

As per IT House, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft was launched on June 29, carrying a massive 2,697 kilograms of cargo to the International Space Station, which included experimental materials, spacewalking equipment, artificial intelligence jointly developed by IBM and Airbus. The endeavour will return astronaut launches to United States soil for the first time since the country retired its aging space shuttles in 2011.

On the first human test flight of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, NASA selected astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Mann to join Boeing executive Chris Ferguson.

Since NASA's space shuttle program was shut down in 2011, it has had to rely on Russian Federation to fly astronauts to the space station.

For the past seven years, Nasa astronauts have hitched rides to the orbiting outpost on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft - at a cost of some US$80 million a seat.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who made the introductions at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas on Friday.

Trump's Twitter praise for the astronauts did appear to gloss over the fact that NASA is actually paying SpaceX and Boeing to fly American astronauts. "Today's announcement advances our great American vision and strengthens the nation's leadership in space", he added.

This will be the fourth space flight for Ferguson, a former Navy fighter pilot.

Behnken, Hurley, Boe and Sunita Williams have been training on SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner since July 2015.

The aviation companies will be conducting test flights at the end of this year and next, and astronauts will leave for the global space station Cape Canaveral in Florida next spring or summer. The first mission has been tasked to Josh Cassada (first time in space) and Sunita Williams, ISS astronaut. The cargo missions started in 2012.

The goal is vital for NASA's future space station experiments. The other commercial crew members are still with NASA. With 322 days in space, Williams is sixth all-time on NASA's spaceflight endurance list and second all-time among female astronauts.

On the SpaceX vessel will be astronauts Doug Hurley, Victor Glover, Robert Behnken and Michael Hopkins. He is a colonel in the Air Force, where he was a flight test engineer before being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009.

As for being the only non-NASA guy on board, Ferguson explained later during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" program that Boeing always uses company test pilots for first flights "and the Starliner is no exception". In 2013 and 2014, Hopkins spent almost six months aboard the ISS, logging almost 13 hours of spacewalks.

Victor Glover: Glover is a native of Pomona, California and he has three master's degrees.

The development of a safe, reliable, and cost-effective solution for crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station will allow the on-orbit research facility to continue to fulfill its promise as a world-class laboratory.

Mike Hopkins: Hopkins was raised on a farm near Richland, Missouri, and he has a master's in aerospace engineering.

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