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NASA names 9 astronauts for first space taxi trips

Space taxi crews
The crews for the first four flights on SpaceX and Boeing space taxis wave to the cameras after their introduction at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas. (NASA via YouTube)

NASA unveiled the first nine astronauts for its commercial crew missions to the International Space Station today, including rookies as well as seasoned veterans.

The “New Nine” include two women and seven men. All but one of them are current NASA astronauts. The ninth spaceflier is Boeing test pilot Chris Ferguson, who flew three space shuttle missions (including the last one, as commander) and now works on Boeing’s Starliner program.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine introduced the astronauts during a ceremony at Johnson Space Center in Texas that was attended by members of Congress and other VIPs.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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