Astronauts arrive in Florida to set new traditions

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley take questions from journalists after their arrival at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA Photo)

Two NASA astronauts landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida today to go through a set of pre-launch traditions that haven’t been followed for nearly nine years — and create a few new traditions as well.

When Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken walked out of a NASA Gulfstream jet and met the press, they began a routine that’s due to climax next week with the first orbital launch from U.S. soil since the space shuttle fleet’s retirement in 2011.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is due to loft their commercial Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station a week from today. But first, they’ll participate remotely in a launch readiness review on Thursday, and then go through an in-person launch rehearsal at historic Launch Complex 39A on Saturday.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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