St. Louis County native and NASA astronaut Bob Behnken’s mission to the International Space Station will have to wait. Bad weather forced the liftoff to get postponed until Saturday afternoon.
Behnken is part of the first manned U.S. spaceflight in nearly a decade and the first space launch in history to involve a commercial aerospace company carrying humans into Earth’s orbit. NASA has teamed up with SpaceX for the mission.
Behnken is a Pattonville High and Washington University graduate. He has been on two other space flights and is also a U.S. Air Force colonel.
His wife, K. Megan McArthur, briefly joined NASA’s broadcast today. McArthur is a fellow astronaut.
“For me personally as a spouse, watching everything that Bob has put into this over the last five years, the dedication that he’s shown and the perseverance, is pretty special. For both of us though, the way that our minds work, it won’t be until sort of the mission is complete that you have a chance to savor it and celebrate it. This is a huge accomplishment for an Air Force flight test engineer to be part of the demonstration mission of a brand new vehicle. It’s going to be amazing,” she says.
NASA’s broadcast also included astronaut and southern Missouri native Michael Hopkins of Richland. He will be part of a mission later this year to the International Space Station after Behnken returns.
“As you can imagine, there’s a lot of emotions,” says Hopkins. “Of course we’re excited – excited for Bob and Doug, excited for NASA, excited for SpaceX, and really the whole country. A lot of pride in what it’s taken to get to this moment. All the thousands of people that have contributed to getting to this moment. But then there’s also bit of sense of duty of business as usual. So for us, we’re going to be watching. We’re going to be listening. We’re going to be learning and all of that to help get us prepared for when it’s our turn.”
Saturday’s liftoff is scheduled for 2:22 p.m. CST.
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