American Astronauts Continue Space Journey
Apalachin's Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken remain in space inside the International Space Station after launching from Florida on Saturday, May 30 at 3:22 Eastern time. The astronauts docked with the International Space Station early Sunday morning, May 31 and will remain there for an indefinite period of time. They join three other astronauts including one American who were already on board the Space Station.
They lifted off aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Spacecraft. The Demo-2 Mission is considered the final step in testing the SpaceX's Crew Dragon for future human flight. It is the first NASA launch from the USA after a nine-year break in the Space Shuttle program.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said about the mission "Our country has been through a lot. But this is a unique moment when all of America can take a moment and look at our country do something stunning again and that is to launch an American astronaut on an American rocket from American soil to the Space Station"
It is the third time in space for Hurley. He piloted his first space mission STS-127 in July of 2009 and then again on STS-135 in July of 2011. He was the first Marine pilot to fly the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. Now 53, Hurley was born in Endicott on October 21, 1966 . He is a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. He has flown over 5,500 hours utilizing more than 25 different types of aircraft in his career.
Already onboard the international Space Station when Colonel Hurley and Behnken arrived were another American astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoli Ivanishin.