Chris Ferguson, after NASA announced his assignment to the Starliner mission | (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Boeing employee and former NASA astronaut Christopher Ferguson will no longer command the first crewed test flight of Boeing’s new passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, slated to carry its first human passengers next year. NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore will take Ferguson’s place on the flight, riding along with the two other NASA astronauts already assigned to the mission.
In a video posted to Twitter, Ferguson said leaving the flight was a “difficult and personal decision” he had to make. “Next year is very important for my family,” he said in the video. “I have made several commitments which I simply cannot risk missing. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just not going into space next year.”