Two men. They are American and they are the first to board a rocket created by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX who wants to relaunch the space conquest… Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken are the two astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft flying to the ISS. The two men, very close in real life, have been both selected in 2000 by the NASA to become astronauts for the American company.
53-year-old Douglas Hurley completed a Civil Engineering degree in 1988. He joins the Marines and becomes lieutenant-colonel the same year. Skilled pilot used to F/1-18 “Hornets” fighter planes; he joins the NASA in 2000. Within the agency, he takes part in two mission on the International Space Station, aboard Endeavour in 2009 and Atlantis in 2011. Back on Earth, he pursues a career at the NASA training future astronauts, waiting to be able to go again. In 2015, he is chosen along with Robert Behnken to test the shuttles created by Boeing and SpaceX.
49-year-old Robert “Bob” Behnken holds a Caltech mechanical engineering and physics PhD. He joins the US Air Force where he becomes wing commander in 1993. Like his sidekick, he flies aboard many fighter planes including the F-22. Between 2008 and 2010, he flies twice with the NASA to the ISS, each time aboard Endeavour. An astronaut who can say he has accumulated 36h of extravehicular outing in space. Between 2012 and 2015, he becomes chief of the Astronaut Office, before being recruited by SpaceX to be the first one to travel aboard Elon Musk’s rocket.
“If you gave us one thing that we could have put on our list of dream jobs that we would have gotten to have some day, it would have been to be aboard a new spacecraft and conduct a test mission” Robert Behnken said this May 20. A dream come true then, and a mission that, if successful, we lift a veil onto new horizons for space trips.