SpaceX is scheduled for lift off on May 27. Washington University physics alum Robert Behnken, BS 1992, is one of the two astronauts on this mission.
Behnken was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2000 and is a veteran of two space shuttle flights. He and his fellow astronaut on this mission, Douglas Hurley, were among the first astronauts to begin working and training on SpaceX’s next-generation human space vehicle and were selected for their extensive test pilot and flight experience, including several missions on the space shuttle.
Behnken will be the joint operations commander for the mission, responsible for activities such as rendezvous, docking and undocking, as well as Demo-2 activities while the spacecraft is docked to the space station. He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2000 and has completed two space shuttle flights. Behnken flew STS-123 in March 2008 and STS-130 in February 2010, and he performed three spacewalks during each mission. Born in St. Ann, Missouri, he has bachelor’s degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from Washington University and earned a master’s and doctorate in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology. Before joining NASA, Behnken was a flight test engineer with the U.S. Air Force.
In addition, he was the Robert M. Walker Distinguished Lecturer in the Fall of 2010 for the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University.