Ferguson, who grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and graduated from Archbishop Ryan High School and Drexel University, is one of nine astronauts chosen by NASA to fly to and from the International Space Station on commercial spacecraft made by Boeing and SpaceX next year.
Since NASA's space shuttle program was shut down in 2011, it has had to rely on Russian Federation to fly astronauts to the space station.
In attendance for the announcement will be NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana. - Alan Shepard, John Young are some of America's first explorers into the great unknown, but Friday NASA will announce who will be America's next space pioneers.
And astronauts will fly on Boeing's CST-100 Starliner sometime after that, in the middle of 2019. All but three of the astronauts are space flight veterans.
NASA says that its astronauts will be joined by other global crew members, to be announced later on. "I'll tell you, being able to launch to the International Space Station from USA soil, I can't imagine better", Cassada said.
Bridenstine also introduced the crews of the first missions to the International Space Station by each new craft, which will follow the test flights.
SpaceX has also faced its own problems, particularly with its Falcon 9 rocket that will power the Dragon into space.
The Starliner will launch aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Both Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon will need to meet stringent safety requirements and prove they are fit for regular flights.
Students Recreate Hiroshima Before, After Atomic Bomb
The anniversary comes amid hopes to denuclearise North Korea after its pledge to do so at the Singapore summit in June. The American bombing on August 6, 1945, along with the bombing of Nagasaki three days later, ended World War II.
The astronauts assigned to the Starliner's first mission are Sunita Williams, who retired as a Navy captain, and Cmdr. The test flight with crew is scheduled for mid-2019.
The space agency selected eight of its finest active astronauts, plus one retired astronaut, from a wide array of backgrounds. He's spent almost 29 days in space. Josh Cassada of the Navy, who will be making his first voyage into space.
On the left, NASA astronaut Suni Williams, fully suited in SpaceX's spacesuit, uses the display inside a mock-up of the Crew Dragon spacecraft in Hawthorne, Calif., during a testing exercise on April 3.
The crew assignments came a day after NASA issued new schedules for the uncrewed and crewed test flights, pushing back the flights by several months from earlier schedules.
When the Starliner approaches the International Space Station, the docking will be fully autonomous as the spacecraft manoeuvres toward an adapted docking port for commercial spacecraft.
"The 7,000 women and men of SpaceX understand what a sacred honour this was, for us to be part of this program, and for us to fly you", said Gwynne Shotwell, the chief operating officer of SpaceX, at the Friday press conference. The public-private partnerships fostered by the program will stimulate growth in a robust commercial space industry and spark life-changing innovations for future generations. "We're not going to let you down". He joined the astronaut corps in 2000 and flew aboard space shuttle Endeavour twice, for the STS-123 and STS-130 missions, during which he performed six spacewalks totaling more than 37 hours.
The first crewed flights will only spend a short period of time in orbit before coming back to Earth.