Boeing Astronaut Chris Ferguson Chooses Daughter’s Wedding Over Space Test Flight

Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson declared his decision, last year, NASA astronaut Eric Boe stepped aside from the first Starliner crew because of the medical reasons. Experienced space station astronauts substituted both.

SpaceX plans to launch its next astronaut flight at the end of this month. Two NASA test pilots returned to Earth in August to shut out SpaceX’s first crew assignment.  

The commander of Boeings first astronaut flight has pulled himself off the crew so he’s on Earth not at the International Space Station because of his daughters’ wedding. He’s been replaced on the Starliner crew by NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore, who was training as a backup for its test flight.  

In December or early January, Boeing intends to replicate a Starliner test flight with no team, in hopes of reaching the space station this time. If this goes well, Wilmore, Fincke and Mann will fly into the space station aboard a Starliner as early as June 2021, and stay in orbit anywhere between 2 weeks and six months.

In a video posted to his Twitter account, Ferguson said it was a tough choice, but next year is very important for my loved ones. He said he’s several responsibilities which I simply cannot risk missing. A Boeing spokeswoman supported one is his daughter’s wedding.

I am not going anywhere. I am just not going into space next year, Ferguson said. He worried that he remains committed to the Starliner program and will keep working for Boeing.