A former NASA astronaut is bowing out of Boeing’s first crewed space flight due to the gravity of an upcoming family commitment— his daughter’s wedding.
In a post on his personal Twitter account Wednesday, Chris Ferguson said he was stepping down as commander of the Boeing Starliner crew and skipping next year’s trip to the International Space Station so he could keep his feet “planted here firmly on Earth.”
He called the decision “difficult and personal,” but one that “prioritizes my most important crew — my family.”
“I’m deeply committed to human space flight. I’m dedicated to the Starliner program, and I’m passionate about the team that has built her. But next year is very important for my family,” Ferguson, who previously piloted the Space Shuttle Atlantis, said in a video attached to his post.