KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — They're here!
The pair of NASA astronauts who will head to the International Space Station for next week's historic launch have arrived on the Space Coast.
What You Need To Know
- Launch is May 27 at 4:32 p.m.
- Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley to be 1st astronauts launched from U.S. soil since 2011
- Liftoff aboard a Falcon 9 rocket
The plane carrying veteran pilots Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley landed on the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility runway Wednesday afternoon.
It's the place where the final shuttle crew came in nine years ago.
The astronauts have been self-quarantining at their Houston homes. Now that they've arrived here, they will continue quarantine until next Wednesday's launch.
They were greeted by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana.
"We are on the cusp of launching American astronauts, on American rockets, from American soil yet again," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.
Both men were chosen for this mission due to their lofty experience as test pilots.
Behnken joined the astronaut corps in 2000.
The former U.S. Air Force flight test engineer will be in the joint operations commander for this mission.
Hurley will serve as the Demo-2 commander. He joined the astronaut ranks the same time as Behnken.
He, too, flew on two shuttle missions, including as pilot of STS-135, the final flight of Atlantis and the shuttle program back in 2011.
"It's great to be back, it's an incredible time for NASA and the space program, once again from Florida in just about a week from now," said Hurley.
The astronauts are the first crew to fly on the CrewDragon, and say they draw inspiration from the people who flew test flights for the first time before them.
"Whenever we've had a chance to speak with the astronauts who had those opportunities and responsibilities before us, the thing they've emphasized is in the moment being as prepared and ready for whatever may come your way," Behenken said.
Behnken and Hurley will get to spend some socially-distanced time with their families before launch.
Launch time for the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon on May 27 from Pad 39A is at 4:32 p.m.