NASA’s head of human spaceflight steps down citing ‘mistake’

NASA head of human spaceflight resigns ahead of crewed SpaceX flight

Sibling US nets Discovery Channel and Science Channel will share live coverage of next week's launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, America's first crewed orbital space mission since 2011.

The astronauts that will fly in this historic launch will be Joint Operations Commander Bob Behnken and Spacecraft Commander Doug Hurley both have prior experience in the military and have flown on the Space Shuttle.

The astronauts set to launch on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission have arrived at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday.

The Demo-2 mission will represent many milestones and it will be the first human launch to the lunatic surface from the United States since the end of the space shuttle era in 2011.

Speaking to the media after stepping out of the NASA Gulfstream aircraft that carried them from Johnson Space Center in Houston, Behnken and Hurley expressed their excitement at being the first astronauts to fly aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

It has been less than a year since Loverro became NASA's head of human spaceflight programmes.

An earlier NASA test pilot, Robert Crippen, wishes at least one space shuttle had kept flying until a replacement was ready.

Behnken, 49, was a crew member on two missions aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 2008 and 2020, according to NASA.

NASA head of human spaceflight resigns ahead of crewed SpaceX flight

SpaceX also said it would be delaying the next launch of its next Starlink satellites, which aims to boost global internet connectivity, to focus on Demo-2 during a period of adverse weather.

SpaceX and NASA are inviting graduating students from around the world to submit a photo that will be printed and assembled in a mosaic that will go to space.

Before joining NASA, Behnken was a flight test engineer for the U.S. Air Force.

"I happen to have been one of the four astronauts who landed here nearly nine years ago in T38s on the 4th of July in 2011 to close out the Space Shuttle Program". There's even a curtained-off toilet.

"This crew will have a good escape system", Crippen said. In terms of launch power, the relatively small Falcon 9 has far less than the space shuttle did, another layer of safety.

But it's still only the crew's second capsule flight, and "statistics will tell you that it's more risky than vehicle flight 15 or 20", said Hurley, a former fighter pilot.

At the suggestion of its technicians, SpaceX added photos of Hurley and Behnken to every work order as a constant reminder that lives - not just freight - are at stake.

"I don't think I should remind my employees how important it is", said Shotwell, the company's president.



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