A closer look at SpaceX's and Boeing's Commercial Crew Spacecraft

NASA to announce commercial crew astronauts Friday

By Richard Ochoa - Producer

SpaceX Dragon capsule

NASA astronauts will soon have some pretty comfortable seats when they fly the commercial spacecraft being built by SpaceX and Boeing.

A look at these capsules comes ahead of Friday's Commercial Crew announcement. NASA plans to reveal which of the four commercial crew astronauts will fly on board Boeing or SpaceX capsules on a mission to the International Space Station.

The Crew Dragon capsule is a next-generation spacecraft designed to carry humans to ISS and other destinations, according to SpaceX. 

The capsule will be "an enjoyable ride," according to SpaceX. It'll be equipped with four windows providing astronauts with breathtaking views of the Earth, our moon and the solar system.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft will be fully autonomous and can be closely watched from in space or on Earth at SpaceX's mission control in Hawthorne, California.

Boeing has also developed a state-of-the-art spacecraft, the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner. The Starliner was developed to carry seven passengers. Boeing's capsule is reusable up to 10 times with a six-month turnaround time, according to Starliner mechanical engineers.

Both Boeing and SpaceX have designed their own spacesuits. Both are suits that resemble the spacesuits of old but with some big upgrades.

Boeing's spacesuit is called "Boeing Blue." Engineers designed it to be lightweight and comfortable.

SpaceX's spacesuit looks similar with a sleek look, except it's black and white.

In February, SpaceX blasted Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster into space from a Falcon Heavy rocket. Inside that Tesla Roadster was "Starman," a dummy wearing the white spacesuit.

Friday's announcement will clarify who will fly on which spacecraft for the first human test flight and the first mission to the ISS.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will make the announcement at 11 a.m. at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana will join Bridenstine and representatives from Boeing and SpaceX to introduce the crews, according to the news release.

News 6 will be there for the announcement. Check ClickOrlando.com/space for updates.

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