As officials repeatedly emphasized during the announcement, these will be the the first Americans to launch aboard American-made rockets from American soil since the last shuttle flight in 2011. The Commercial Crew Program is a public-private partnership, with NASA outsourcing the design and construction of these spacecraft to private companies SpaceX and Boeing. The spacecraft must meet NASA specifications for carrying astronauts, and all nine of the astronauts selected for these first four launches have received NASA training. (One astronaut, Chris Ferguson retired from NASA and is now a Boeing astronaut.) The idea is that NASA will still be able to get its astronauts to space using American tech on American soil, but will be able to spend less money on spaceflight by outsourcing some of the pricey research and development to American aerospace companies.