Meet the SpaceX astronauts returning to Earth Sunday in the Gulf Coast

Splashdown Pensacola: SpaceX Return

(WKRG) — The two astronauts coming home are Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. They are the first to travel into orbit aboard a commercially developed spacecraft.

Both men became a part of the Space-X Crew Dragon in August of 2018. Robert Behnken is an astronaut, engineer, and former Chief of the Astronaut Office for the U.S.

He joined NASA back in 2000. After serving in the Air Force he took his first trip into space in 2008. He then made his way to the International Space Station and returned in 2010 and took part in three spacewalks.

After that, he moved on to become the chief of the Astronaut Office in 2012 for three years.

Douglas Hurley is an astronaut, an engineer, and a former Marine Corps pilot. He made his way to the International Space Station for the first time in 2009. He piloted that mission which lasted more than 16 days.

In 2011, Hurley returned to space on the space shuttle Atlantis. After returning to earth, he started as the assistant director for New Programs for Flight Crew Operations at the Johnson Space Center.

While in orbit with Crew Dragon, Hurley shared a bit of the crew’s experience. “For the most part, we’ve had pretty good luck with Endeavor. As far as on-orbit testing is performed just like it did for launch and rendezvous. So, we expect nothing different for the splashdown.”

Both astronauts have spent 20 years working for NASA.

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