Two pilots, rocket scientist, oceanographer flying SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX’s third crew has an assault helicopter pilot, a former Air France pilot, a Japanese rocket scientist and an oceanographer.

The 4 veteran astronauts ought to attain the International Space Station on Saturday for a six-month keep, following Friday’s liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

A short take a look at every:

— Shane Kimbrough, 53, the flight’s commander, is a retired Army colonel who led a helicopter platoon throughout the 1991 Gulf War. His love of area got here early: His grandparents lived close to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The son of an Army aviator who flew in Vietnam, Kimbrough grew up in Atlanta. He taught math on the U.S. Military Academy and jumped out of planes for the Army, earlier than shifting to Houston in 2000 to work with NASA’s shuttle coaching plane. He turned an astronaut in 2004, flying on the shuttle in 2008 and launching eight years later in a Russian capsule to the area station he helped construct. He and spouse Robbie have three grown kids.

— Megan McArthur, 49, the pilot, is flying in the identical seat as husband Bob Behnken did throughout SpaceX’s debut crew launch practically a 12 months in the past. This time, he was the one with their 7-year-old son, Theo, waving goodbye. It’s been 11 years since McArthur final rocketed into orbit, aboard a shuttle on NASA’s last Hubble Space Telescope restore mission. She’s desperate to see the area station, after 20 years as an astronaut. Born in Hawaii however raised throughout in a Navy household, McArthur performed graduate analysis in underwater acoustics on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, led diving expeditions and examined water gear. She turned an astronaut in 2000.

— Thomas Pesquet, 43, was flying for Air France when the European Space Agency selected him as an astronaut 12 years in the past. The son of schoolteachers, Pesquet discovered area “cool” whereas rising up in Normandy, and earned a level in spacecraft design. He joined the French Space Agency as an engineer in 2002. Two years later, Air France tapped him for its flight coaching program. He logged 2,300 flight hours on business airliners earlier than changing into an astronaut in 2009. Pesquet launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket to the area station in 2016 for a six-month mission. His longtime companion, Anne Mottet, works for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

— Akihiko Hoshide, 52, joined the Japanese Space Agency proper out of faculty in 1992 as an engineer, engaged on the H-II rocket. He made the astronaut reduce seven years later and helped develop Japan’s Kibo lab for the area station. He put in Kibo, or Hope, in 2008, launching aboard shuttle Discovery. Hoshide returned to the station in 2012 for six months, flying from Kazakhstan. He’ll be part of Japan’s Soichi Noguchi on the station, earlier than Noguchi departs subsequent week on his personal SpaceX trip. “It will be really nice to see him — and we have the luxury of hugging in orbit, not like the situation on the ground” due to the pandemic, Hoshide mentioned. He’s married with an 11-year-old son.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely chargeable for all content material.

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