Bob Behnken, 49, and Doug Hurley, 53, are both former Marine pilots with the rank of colonel. They were selected by NASA in the same class of astronauts (that of 2000) where they met their wives. They both have already been to space twice and both have a son. Hurley was Behnken’s wedding witness.
The couple ready to usher in the new era of space exploration often jokes that NASA has taken care to select their wives for them too. Those who know them claim that they are linked by fraternal friendship. Doug’s worst habit? “He has a stronger sense of hygiene than mine,” Behnken ironizes in a NASA promotional video.
Their launch is the first from American soil since the shuttle program retired in 2011.
It is the first time that they have been launched into orbit together. Behnken has been on the shuttle twice, in 2008 and 2010, spending over 708 hours in orbit and taking 6 spacewalks. Hurley also has two missions behind him, including the final shuttle mission aboard the Atlantis, which took off on July 8, 2011. Behnken is originally from Missouri and Hurley is from New York. They both reside in Houston, Texas.
They do not wear the traditional orange shuttle suit but a white outfit with dark gray friezes reminiscent of the Star Wars stormtroopers, designed by Space X and designed by the sculptor and Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez, who has signed the outfits of superheroes of the big screen like Batman .