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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Astronaut chooses his daughter’s wedding over going to space

It was a defining moment for Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson when he chose dedication to family over a flight to the International Space Station.

Serving as the commander of Boeing’s first astronaut-led flight, Ferguson announced Wednesday that he has pulled himself off the crew so he can attend his daughter’s wedding next year. Ferguson posted a video on Twitter that revealed his decision to stay at home with family.

“I’ll be taking on a new mission, one that keeps my feet planted here firmly on Earth and prioritizes my most important crew–my family,” Ferguson tweeted.  “I’ll still be working hard with the

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