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Japan's Noguchi to Be 1st Foreign Astronaut to Join New US Spacecraft Crew for ISS Mission
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Jul 24, 2019

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Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi has been assigned to the crew of a new US spacecraft that will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) in the near future thus becoming the first foreign astronaut to participate in a US mission following a near-decade hiatus, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said on Tuesday.

"JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, as he was released from his backup crew assignment for Soyuz 59S with its successful launch, is now slated to begin training to board a United States Crew Vehicle (USCV) while he continues to train for an ISS expedition crew. The specific vehicle provider and its flight schedule will be announced when more details are available," the statement said.

The spacecraft that will carry Noguchi to the ISS was unspecified. The astronaut has previously carried out two missions to the ISS - the first aboard the US Discovery shuttle in 2005 and the second on Russia's Soyuz TMA-17 in 2009-2010.

NASA has been sending its astronauts aboard Russia's Soyuz spacecraft since its own Space Shuttle was retired in 2011. In 2014, NASA signed contracts worth $6.8 billion with Boeing and Space X for the development of crew transportation systems and to conduct initial missions to the orbiting laboratory under its Commercial Crew Program.

Before NASA decides which spacecraft will make the journey - Space X's Crew Dragon or Boeing's Starliner - they must first be certified safe for human spaceflight. Both contractors initially intended to be certified in 2017, but now neither is expected to be ready until late 2019 at the earliest.

Space X tested its Crew Dragon in an unmanned flight to the ISS in March. The spacecraft is scheduled to fly its first crew on November 15. As for Starliner, NASA reportedly plans to conduct an unmanned test flight in September, while the first manned flight is slated for some time in November.

Source: RIA Novosti

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US to Launch Its First Own Spacecraft to ISS After NASA Certification in May 2020 - Source
Moscow (Sputnik) Jul 17, 2019
The United States is scheduled to send its first US-made spacecraft instead of Russia-made Soyuz to the International Space Station (ISS) upon obtaining NASA certification in May 2020, a source in the aerospace industry told Sputnik on Monday. NASA has paid Russia for seats on the Soyuz spacecraft since the US Space Shuttle was retired in 2011. In 2014, NASA gave contracts to Boeing and Space X, worth a combined total of up to $6.8 billion, to develop crew transportation systems and conduct initia ... read more

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