What to Know About NASA's 'Best Friend' Astronauts Blasting Off to Space: 'We’re Lucky'




RELATED: NASA Prepares to Send Two Astronauts to Space in Historic SpaceX Crew Dragon Launch

As if their stories weren't similar enough, Behnken and Hurley also both have young sons. Behnken has a 6-year-old son, Theodore, with McArthur, while Hurley and Nyberg have a 10-year-old named Jack, according to The New York Times.

"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," Hurley said, according to the NYT. "So I got the thumbs up from him and in the end, that’s all that matters."

Their personal lives and longtime friendship are part of what Gwynne Shotwell, the president of SpaceX, said makes Behnken and Hurley's upcoming mission so special.

"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," Shotwell said, according to the NYT. "I wanted to bring some humanity to this very deeply technical effort as well."

Despite their prior experience, Behnken said he was still in disbelief about living the dream with his best friend.

"As graduates of military test pilot schools, if you gave us one thing that we could have put on our list of dream jobs that we would have gotten to have someday, it would have been to be aboard a new spacecraft and conduct a test mission" Behnken said, according to The Washington Post.

Their decades-long friendship is also what the astronaut believes will make them successful on their journey to space.

"One of the things that’s really helpful for us as a crew is the long relationship that Doug and I have had," Behnken told reporters, according to the NYT. "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."

And though she is proud of her husband, McArthur said watching the takeoff will still leave her uneasy.

"One of the hardest things to do is watch the person that you love launch into space," she said, according to The Washington Post. "It’s much harder than actually doing it yourself when you’re in the rocket. You have the training. You’re prepared for the mission."

"When you’re watching, you’re just a spectator. And no matter what happens, there’s nothing you can do to contribute to the situation," McArthur added.

Behnken, who is serving as joint operations commander, and Hurley, who will be spacecraft commander, will lift off in the Crew Dragon spacecraft at 3:22 p.m. ET.

Source: Read Full Article