'Best Friend' Astronauts Say Goodbye to Their Wives and Children Before Historic SpaceX-NASA Launch
Bob Behnken is married to oceanographer Megan McArthur and have a 6-year-old son, Theodore, while Doug Hurley is married to fellow astronaut Karen Nyberg and have a 10-year-old son, Jack
Robert "Bob" Behnken and Douglas "Doug" Hurley said goodbye to their wives and children moments before boarding their Crew Dragon capsule for the rescheduled SpaceX-NASA launch on Saturday.
The astronauts, who were dressed in their SpaceX-designed suits, were seen waving to their loved ones from a safe distance at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The men gave their families air hugs before entering a NASA-branded all-electric Tesla Model X vehicle.
Behnken, 49, is married to oceanographer Megan McArthur and share a 6-year-old son, Theodore, while Hurley, 53, is married to fellow astronaut Karen Nyberg and share a 10-year-old son, Jack.
The families previously said their goodbyes on May 27 prior to the initial launch. The first launch was rescheduled 17 minutes before taking off due to unfavorable weather conditions around Launch Complex 39A.
Behnken's wife McArthur helped with a shuttle mission in 2009 to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, according to her NASA biography.
While Hurley's wife Nyberg spent close to six months on the International Space Station in 2013 and recently retired from NASA at the end of March, according to a NASA press release.
The two will finally embark on the mission together and head toward the International Space Station.
Behnken and Hurley have been close friends for years as they started their careers together nearly two decades ago.
"So being lucky enough to get to fly with your best friend is kind of a — I think there’s a lot of people that wish they could do that, and we’re lucky enough to do it," Hurley said in a promotional video shared by NASA. "We've spent a ton of time together. We could have gone two directions with that. We could have gotten to the point where we didn’t want to be around each other, or we’re closer. So I think just the whole experience for me is what we’re looking [forward to]."
Hurley also recently told the New York Times that his son thinks the capsule is a "pretty cool looking vehicle."
"My 10-year-old son certainly thinks it’s a cool vehicle with a cool name, Dragon," he said. "So I got the thumbs up from him and in the end, that's all that matters."
Behnken, who is serving as joint operations commander, and Hurley, who will be spacecraft commander, will lift off in the Crew Dragon spacecraft at 3:22 p.m. ET.