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Behnken, Hurley make ‘very great crew,' former NASA astronaut says

Friend of Crew Dragon astronauts will witness Demo-2 liftoff

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Fellow Space Shuttle veteran Garrett Reisman knows how Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley may be feeling on the eve of launch day.

"There's nothing like actually strapping into a rocket to get your motivation going up. You're so excited and your excitement kind of overwhelms any sense of fear," Reisman said.

Fearless is how the first SpaceX Crew Dragon crew have appeared in the week since they arrived at Kennedy Space Center.

[Calm under pressure: 2 NASA astronauts prepare to return glory of human spaceflight to America]

Behnken and Hurley are each 20-year NASA veterans, Space Shuttle crew members and were each selected to the Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station in the summer of 2018.

That was seven years after Hurley was onboard the final shuttle mission, Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Soon after the program came to an end, Reisman began working as a SpaceX engineer focusing on Commercial Crew.

Reisman pointed to Behnken and Hurleys' experience for what makes them a great team.

“They’ve both got two shuttle flights under their belt and they know each other very well and they anticipate each other’s moves. I think they make a very great crew,” Reisman said.

[Countdown to launch: Watch live views of SpaceX Falcon 9, Crew Dragon at Kennedy Space Center]

The astronaut and engineer said he considers Behnken and Hurley role models to future generations of explorers.

Like Behnken and Hurley, Reisman has also been to space twice, one of those times on a shuttle with Behnken.

Reisman also worked on the International Space Station with Hurley's wife, Karen Nyberg.

Behnken and Hurley both met their wives in the NASA class of 2000.

“They have a better appreciation for exactly what Bob and Doug are going through, but emotionally I think it’s the same as anybody,” Reisman said about the families preparing for launch day. “When you see somebody you know, especially somebody you really care for climb into a rocket, it changes everything."

Reisman also said that at the same time, Behnken and Hurley's spouses will be very excited and proud.

“It’s a very complex cocktail of emotions, but they’re all very strong,” he said.


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