UPDATED 6:30 AM PT — Thursday, May 21, 2020
Two veteran NASA astronauts are gearing up for a historic SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. Retired Marine Colonel Doug Hurley and Air Force Colonel Bob Behnken held a video conference Wednesday to announce they will in embark on the Demo Two mission next week.
The pair will lift-off in a SpaceX crew dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This mission will mark the first time NASA astronauts will liftoff from American soil in nearly a decade.
Earlier today, @Astro_Doug & @AstroBehnken, bid farewell to Houston from Ellington Field bound for @NASAKennedy. They'll be the 1st Americans to launch from U.S. soil to the @space_station since 2011 at 4:33 p.m. EDT on May 27.
— Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) May 20, 2020
Hurley will take charge of the launch and landing, while Behnken oversees “rendezvous and docking on the ISS.”
“It’s exciting on so many levels, I think this this is a little bit more measured in a lot of ways,” stated Colonel Hurley. “Because, one, we’ve been to space before, but we’ve also worked a very, very long time in this collaboration with SpaceX to get to the launch pad.”
The crew is expected to remain in orbit between one and four months.
Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 in the hangar at Launch Complex 39A pic.twitter.com/l758CdYXNQ
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 21, 2020