Yesterday, NASA made a historic announcement: four astronauts will be eligible for the first-ever passenger flight aboard a private spaceship, set for 2017. Using either a SpaceX Dragon or Boeing CST-100, the test flights will allow the U.S. to launch astronauts without Russia for the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.
  1. Sunita Williams
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    A Naval officer, Williams has performed several stints in the International Space Station. While onboard from 2006 to 2007, she set a record for most spacewalks by a woman (four). Her record was later broken by Peggy Whitman in 2008 (five).
  2. Douglas Hurley
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    Hurley piloted the space shuttle Endeavor in 2009 and also piloted Atlantis during the final space shuttle mission in 2011.
  3. Robert Behnken
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    Air Force colonel and mechanical engineer Bob Behnken flew on space shuttle Endeavor in 2008 and 2010.
  4. Eric Boe
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    Air Force fighter pilot and astronautical engineer Eric Boe flew on Endeavor in 2008 and Discovery in 2011.