“I think it’s a pretty cool looking vehicle and my 10-year-old son certainly thinks it’s a cool vehicle with a cool name, Dragon,” Mr. Hurley said. The road to the launchpad has been longer than had been expected and planned. Eva Claire Hambach/NASA TV/AFP via Getty Images. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken greet their families before the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 27, 2020. The craft brought NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the space station after a launch on May 30, 2020—the first vessel to carry humans into space from U.S… They both married astronauts from their class. On Wednesday (May 27) at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT), astronauts Robert "Bob" Behnken and Douglas "Doug" Hurley will strap into a Crew Dragon vehicle … Hurley and Behnken were expected to live and work aboard the space station for two or three months, and then return to Earth for a splashdown in … He has also logged more than 37 hours of spacewalking on six different occasions, according to NASA. After just over two months at the International Space Station, NASA Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley began their journey back to Earth on Saturday, August 1. NASA Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley’s Scientific Journeys aboard the Space Station Docking their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station in May completed the first part of the mission for NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on the first crewed test flight for the Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Here is everything you need to know about Hurley and Behnken, the astronauts NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has called "truly the best of us.". Hurley, 53, was a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot prior to being selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2000. Other astronauts who could have been in this spotlight, including Nicole Mann — one of two NASA astronauts assigned to a future flight on another spacecraft, Boeing’s Starliner — do not begrudge Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley. “One of the things that’s really helpful for us as a crew is the long relationship that Doug and I have had,” Mr. Behnken said this month during rounds of interviews with reporters. In a video released by NASA ahead of the launch, the two were bashful when asked about what makes the other great and joked with each other like longtime friends. “It feels kind of like one of your close family members having a great lifetime achievement,” she said, “and really, that’s what it is.”, Meet Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, SpaceX’s First NASA Astronauts. He piloted space shuttle missions STS-127 (July 2009) and STS-135 (July 2011), the final flight of the space shuttle program. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Tulane University. Doug Hurley is a NASA astronaut and retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel. ], On Wednesday, weather permitting, two NASA astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, are to be sitting on top of a SpaceX rocket headed to orbit. That kind of thing. “Giving us insight and sharing that understanding as we go forward has been part of what has made us comfortable with this team going forward,” Mr. Behnken said. Doug Hurley has been serving in NASA since 2000 and is a veteran of two spaceflights. ", "I'm just one piece of a multi-thousand member team that is going to hopefully pull this off in short order," he added. AP. Behnken is a U.S Air Force colonel and test pilot, while Hurley is … He's flown on two spaceflights and will make a third, historic spaceflight as … A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT), launching Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a 19-hour ride aboard the company's newly designed Crew Dragon capsule bound for the International Space Station. They even share the same taste in music. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley give the thumbs-up from inside Crew Dragon after splashdown. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Doug Hurley wave as they leave a news conference after they arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in … “We’re kind of at the point in our experience — whether it’s flying in the T-38 or executing in a SpaceX simulation or approaching and docking to the International Space Station — where we, in addition to finishing each other’s sentences, we can predict, you know, almost by body language, what the person’s opinion is or what they’re going to do, what their next action is going to be.”, The rapport and good humor between the astronauts was evident in a video created by NASA. But then the spacecraft’s parachutes — essential for the safe return of the astronauts — failed in some tests. They will probably spend at least a month in orbit, and the stay could stretch to four months. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who flew a 63-day mission with SpaceX's Crew Dragon vehicle, are the first people the company ever launched to orbit and returned to Earth. Mr. Hurley, right, with Mr. Behnken and Elon Musk during a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center in 2019. the huge pool that NASA uses to rehearse spacewalks. The SpaceX Demo-2 successfully launched with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, and is making its way to the International Space Station. After a successful uncrewed test flight of a Crew Dragon to the space station last year, it looked like Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley would soon follow on their mission. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley participate in a test of critical crew flight hardware on March 30, 2020, at a SpacerX processing facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Last October, the astronauts said they still had confidence in the spacecraft. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were the first NASA astronauts to fly to and from orbit in a spacecraft built and managed by the private company SpaceX. More disconcerting, the Crew Dragon that had made the successful trip to space exploded on a test stand while being fueled for a test firing of its thrusters. When he's not flying to space, he enjoys hunting and spending time with his family in the Texas Hill Country, according to his official NASA biography. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley blasted off to the International Space Station on May 30 aboard a SpaceX Falcon rocket. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/27/science/bob-behnken-doug-hurley.html He then completed master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Mr. Hurley, 53, grew up in Apalachin, N.Y., outside Binghamton. Hurley was the pilot for STS-127 and STS-135 and he will also be piloting the Dragon Crew spacecraft. "Endeavor copies. While there has been a lot of hype and buzz surrounding Musk and SpaceX, the NASA astronauts have largely shied away from the spotlight. Now Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are about to fly together in one of the most important launches NASA has attempted in years: a crewed test flight of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft … Their Crew Dragon capsule docked with the station on May 31. Hurley is a native of Apalachin, New York. Mr. Behnken, 49, is a native of Saint Ann, Mo., graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in physics and mechanical engineering. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, the NASA astronauts who operated SpaceX’s successful human test flight using the Crew Dragon capsule, will host a … What happened? “I wanted to bring some humanity to this very deeply technical effort as well.”. "Being an astronaut has been a little bit of an abstraction thing for him because he’s seen me do it in old videos but he hasn’t seen me do it for real. But the other part of it, you have to keep in mind, is this is test, evaluation development, and it’s part of the process.”. But NASA and SpaceX officials more often than not just call the pilots of this historic mission “Bob and Doug.”, “I wanted to make sure everyone at SpaceX understood and knew Bob and Doug as astronauts, as test pilots — badass — but also as dads and husbands,” said Gwynne Shotwell, president of the company that built the Crew Dragon spacecraft that will carry the men to orbit, at a news conference this month. The Crew Dragon launched successfully on Saturday. [When to watch SpaceX’s next NASA launch of astronauts. When we get to that opportunity to do that in the water together, it’s kind of a weird thing to say, but I’m looking for that kind of celebratory event.”. Mr. Hurley is married to Karen Nyberg, who spent nearly six months on the International Space Station in 2013 and who retired from NASA at the end of March. Both joined NASA in 2000 — two of the 17 astronauts selected by the space agency that year. Mr. Hurley flew on the final space shuttle mission in 2011. He launched into space for the third time as commander of Crew Dragon Demo-2, the first crewed spaceflight from American soil since STS-135 and became one of the first two astronauts, together with Bob Behnken, launching aboard a commercial orbital spacecraft in sp… They’re best friends and veterans of the astronaut corps, and each is married to another astronaut. “And yes,” he said, “the celebratory vomiting at the end of the mission will be excellent.”. Behnken, 49, a veteran Air Force test pilot, was first selected as an astronaut in July 2000. Just before liftoff, Hurley said, “SpaceX, we’re go for launch. Mr. Behnken said he was looking forward to the splashdown at the end of their mission before adding, with a grin, “I’m expecting a little bit of vomiting, maybe, to happen in that end game. “So I got the thumbs up from him and in the end, that’s all that matters.”. Robert "Bob" Behnken and Douglas "Doug" Hurley have been best friends for years, though they've never flown to space on the same mission in their … Behnken is married to fellow NASA astronaut K. Megan McArthur and has a young son. This still image taken from NASA TV, shows the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, with astronauts Bob Behnken (front) and Doug Hurley, at Launch Coomplex 39A in Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 27, 2020. Mr. Hurley offered a more serious answer, talking about how he enjoyed working together with a close friend. The space station is short-staffed at the moment, so Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley will stay longer to pitch in with operations. Mr. Behnken’s wife is Megan McArthur, an oceanographer who was part of the shuttle mission that made one last visit in 2009 to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. … Hurley is married to fellow NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg. Saturday's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight is also historic in that it would mark the first time in nearly a decade that the U.S. is sending American astronauts into space from American soil, ditching an expensive dependency on Russia for seats to space. We'll be there in a second." On August 2nd, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley returned to Earth inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico. The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but rescheduled due to inclement weather. After nearly a 24 hour journey, the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, near Pensacola, FL. Do you know what happened? For space missions, usually planned in precise detail, this trip is unusually open-ended. MORE: NASA's SpaceX launch scrubbed due to weather, next chance on Saturday, MORE: SpaceX and NASA set for 'milestone' launch of astronauts to the International Space Station. “Certainly, it’s disappointing,” Mr. Hurley said. NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken wave as they walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 27, 2020. No one was on board, and no one was hurt, but a video of the explosion leaked online. The men’s trip to the space station will be the first from the United States since the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011, and Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley, friends and colleagues for two decades, have traveled remarkably similar paths to this moment. SpaceX and NASA are set to launch two American astronauts to the International Space Station on Saturday, in the first crewed mission for Elon Musk's private space company. "Endeavor welcome to the International Space Station. They have each flown to space twice on space shuttle missions, although never on the same mission. The astronauts Robert L. Behnken, left, and Douglas G. Hurley, donning their spacesuits during a dress rehearsal of SpaceX’s uncrewed In-Flight Abort Test in January. Hurley and Behnken are married to fellow members of their 2000 astronaut class at NASA: newly retired Karen Nyberg and Megan McArthur. Please come aboard." NASA recently made the decision to extend the Bob and Doug Show a bit longer than the two weeks originally planned. Demo-2 … Both joined NASA's astronaut program in 2000, they are both married to fellow NASA astronauts and they are fathers. Mr. Behnken and Ms. McArthur’s son, Theodore, is 6. ", 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. He piloted two spaceflight missions in July 2009 and July 2011, and has logged a total of 683 hours in space. 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