Commander of Boeing’s First Manned Flight to Space Pulls Out to Attend Daughter’s Wedding

Terry Renna/AP/Shutterstock Astronaut Chris Ferguson

Astronaut Chris Ferguson, who was expected to serve as the commander of Boeing’s first test flight to space next year, announced he’ll be giving up the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity due to “several commitments” he cannot afford to miss.

In a video posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday, Ferguson, 59, revealed the news, calling the decision “difficult and personal,” but reassured his followers that he remains “deeply committed to human spaceflight.”

Though the astronaut remained mostly general in his explanation — only saying that the decision was due to prioritizing his family and important commitments — a spokesperson at Boeing confirms to PEOPLE that one of those commitments included his daughter’s wedding.

“I want to share with you a difficult and personal decision I’ve had to make,” he said in the clip. “I have chosen to step aside as commander of the crewed flight test, scheduled

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Toyota-Backed Startup Successfully Tests Manned Electric Flying Car, Plans Launch By 2023

KEY POINTS

  • Tokyo-based SkyDrive successfully tests flying car
  • Startup claims its prototype is the smallest flying car
  • The vehicle may be commercially available in 2023

A Toyota-backed Japanese startup has said it successfully tested a manned flying car prototype, crossing a major milestone in the race to a trillion dollar futuristic industry that could transform urban transport. SkyDrive expects to market its flying car in Japan in 2023.

The company said its prototype is the smallest electric flying car. About 6.5 feet tall and 13 feet wide, the SD-03 prototype is a little bigger than a standard sedan. It can carry up to 500 kilograms and travel up to 60 kilometers/hour.

It hovered in an enclosed field in Japan before landing safely, the company said. It runs on electric motors that charge four pairs of rotors, lights and other parts.

SkyDrive chief technology officer Nobuo Kishi said the vehicle will

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