NASA honors former astronauts with Congressional Space Medal of Honor

Former NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 23, 2020. (NASA/Kim Shiflett, Copyright NASA)

Former NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken have received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor for their bravery in performing test flights that paved the way for safe, reliable access to and from the International Space by American aerospace industry companies.

Col. Hurley and Col. Behnken were part of NASA’s SpaceX Demonstration Mission-2, or Demo-2, to the space station in 2020. Demo-2 flight tested SpaceX’s crew transportation system and, ultimately, provided valuable data to help NASA certify the system for future crewed missions.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has worked with several American aerospace industry companies to facilitate the development of U.S. human spaceflight systems since 2010. The goal is not only to have safe, cost-effective access to and from the space station - but also to foster commercial access to other potential low-Earth orbit destinations.

Vice President Kamala Harris presented Hurley and Behnken with their medals in a ceremony at the White House Tuesday afternoon, which was streamed live on KPRC 2+.

Four ways to watch the KPRC 2+ livestream anytime:

  • Search for the KPRC 2+ app on your smart TV or streaming device - including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Google TV.
  • Get the new KPRC 2+ mobile app - which is free to download in the App Store or on Google Play.
  • Look for the KPRC 2+ livestream in the “Watch Live” section of the Click2Houston news app.