(WYTV) – Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are now looking forward to going into orbit Saturday afternoon.
A spacecraft built by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company called Space X will take them there, the first time a private company, not a government, has sent astronauts into space.
The mission is known as Demo-2, a demonstration mission to show that Space X can take astronauts to the space station and back safely.
The astronauts are 48 year old Robert Behnken and 53 year old Doug Hurley, both experienced NASA astronauts who were involved in the testing of the capsule.
Hurley was on the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis in 2011 before it was discontinued. Behnken has flown in space before. He has a total of 37 hours of spacewalking time.
The two men will wear spacesuits designed by Space X with help from Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez.
Just as the Apollo capsule sat on top of a Saturn Five rocket, our two astronauts will strap themselves in a capsule called Dragon, launched by a Falcon Nine.
They’ll dock at the space station on Sunday and stay there one to four months, get back in their Dragon, detach, fire a small rocket and return to earth, parachuting into the Atlantic Ocean off the south Florida coast.