NASA has announced that it has reassigned two astronauts to the SpaceX Crew-5 mission. That mission will head to the ISS and is part of the Commercial Crew Program. Two astronauts who have been reassigned to Crew-5 are Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada. Mann will act as the mission’s commander, while Cassada will be the pilot.
NASA has confirmed that Crew-5 will launch no earlier than the fall of 2022. The mission will use a Falcon 9 rocket and launch from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A in Florida. NASA will assign other crewmembers to the mission at a later date.
Crewmembers for the Crew-5 mission will be part of an expedition crew aboard the ISS conducting long-duration science activities. Mann and Cassada have been working together on the Boeing Starliner spacecraft program. NASA says the duo has gained experience in that training that they will take with them as they train to fly the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
NASA associate administrator of the Space Operations Mission Directorate, Kathryn Lueders, said NASA would continue to work with Boeing and SpaceX in preparing its astronauts and international partners to travel to and from the ISS aboard American spacecraft. While Mann and Cassada have been reassigned from the Boeing program, other NASA astronauts, including Butch Wilmore, Mike Fincke, and Suni Williams, continue to work with the company as it prepares for the Boeing Crew Flight Test.
NASA did say that it will add additional flight assignments to the Boeing project in the future. The SpaceX mission will be Mann’s first trip to space after being selected as an astronaut in 2013. Cassada was also selected as an astronaut in 2013; Crew-5 will be his first trip into space. Both astronauts are military pilots with thousands of hours in multiple aircraft.