NASA's newest test pilots are veteran astronauts, friends

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley wave, May 20, 2020
Posted at 12:02 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 16:32:19-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The two astronauts who will test drive SpaceX's brand new rocketship and return human orbital launches to the U.S. are classmates and friends. They're also veteran spacefliers married to veteran spacefliers, and fathers of young sons. Retired Marine Col. Doug Hurley will be in charge of launch and landing, a fitting assignment for the pilot of NASA's last space shuttle mission. Air Force Col. Bob Behnken will oversee rendezvous at the International Space Station. They'll end a nine-year launch drought for NASA when they blast off aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida. Liftoff is set for next Wednesday.