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NASA's newest test pilots are veteran astronauts, friends

5 months 5 days 22 hours ago Friday, May 22 2020 May 22, 2020 May 22, 2020 10:07 AM May 22, 2020 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The two astronauts who will test drive SpaceX's brand new rocketship and return human orbital launches to the U.S. are classmates and friends. They're also veteran spacefliers married to veteran spacefliers, and fathers of young sons. Retired Marine Col. Doug Hurley will be in charge of launch and landing, a fitting assignment for the pilot of NASA's last space shuttle mission. Air Force Col. Bob Behnken will oversee rendezvous at the International Space Station. They'll end a nine-year launch drought for NASA when they blast off aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida. Liftoff is set for next Wednesday.

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