Massachusetts native chosen for NASA’s first U.S. commercial flight

Sunita Williams astronaut for NASA. (Photo from

(WWLP) – NASA has selected four astronauts for the first U.S commercial spaceflight and a Massachusetts native is among them.

Sunita Williams of Newton, Mass. will be joining the crew in NASA’s first commercial space flight program, which was designed to develop a safe and reliable transportation of sending humans into the solar system. Another milestone for the Obama administration.

“I am pleased to announce four American space pioneers have been selected to be the first astronauts to train to fly to space on commercial crew vehicles, all part of our ambitious plan to return space launches to U.S. soil, create good-paying American jobs and advance our goal of sending humans farther into the solar system than ever before,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden according to NASA’s website.

A Needham native, Williams, 50, graduated from Needham High School in 1983. She has logged over 30,000 flight hours on more than 30 aircraft. Williams is married, has no kids. The couple have two dogs, a terrier named Gorby and a retriever named Bailey, according to her NASA bio.

The flight is scheduled for 2017.

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