This afternoon (5/27) at 4:33, weather permitting, NASA and SpaceX will launch the Demo 2 mission from Kennedy Space Station in Florida to the International Space Station. The two-man crew will feature astronaut Robert Behnken, and it will be piloted by Apalachin native Douglas Hurley.

Hurley graduated from Owego Free Academy in 1984, And according to the NASA website, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Tulane University in 1988. This will be Hurley’s third trip to space.

In 2009, Hurley flew the Space Shuttle Endeavor to the International Space Station, and made a return trip to the space station while piloting the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2011. The later space shuttle flight was the very last time a space shuttle was used. NASA retired the Space Shuttle program after Hurley returned Atlantis safely to Earth in July of 2011.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

I was actually in Florida when the final space shuttle was launched and got to watch the launch from a distance. When I was young, I always thought it would be cool to be an astronaut. I always wanted to go to space camp, but every time I brought it up to my parents, they told me they couldn’t afford it.

I visited The Kennedy Space Station in 2014. That was awesome. I would recommend that to anyone that is into American history and space in general. We rode in the space shuttle simulator which was pretty cool. We also got to walk in the control room where they launched all the Apollo missions. That sent chills down my spine. Check out the photos we took below.

Good luck Don Hurley, you make all of us here in the Binghamton area very proud.

[via NASA]