Bob Behnken is one of two astronauts on the Crew Dragon for the historic NASA SpaceX launch and return. He’s returning to Earth on Sunday, August 2. Read on to learn more about his family, including his wife, K. Megan McArthur, and his children.
Bob Behnken is the joint operations commander for the mission, NASA shared. He was selected to be an astronaut with NASA in 2000 and has completed two space shuttle flights. He performed three spacewalks with each mission. He was a flight test engineer with the Air Force before joining NASA.
His Wife, Megan McArthur, Is an Astronaut Too
Bob Behnken is married to K. Megan McArthur, who is also an astronaut. She was selected to be an astronaut in 2000 and has a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also has a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of California, San Diego.
She was a mission specialist on the STS-125, the final space shuttle mission to the Hubble Telescope. In total, she’s logged almost 13 days in space.
Behnken and McArthur met while working as engineers at NASA. They started at the same time: the summer of 2000, The Atlantic reported.
Behnken and McArthur have a six-year-old son, Theodore, CBS News shared.
Behnken Said He’s Been Honest with His Young Son about the Dangers
Behnken said he’s talked about the dangers of spaceflight with his son, CBS News reported. Behnken said, “My son is a little bit on the young side for that explanation, but we’ve had that conversation. That’s part of my job … not put it all on her to make sure that the rest of the family understands as well that there’s risk associated with it.”
Behnken said he told his son they have done everything they can to be safe. He said he told his son: “We’ve done everything we can … to make sure that the Dragon isn’t gonna bite us and if it tries, there’s an escape system that’s going to help us get away from the Falcon.”
McArthur told CBS that they speak to their son as normally as possible, just talking about the job his dad has to do.
About the Mission
This test flight was an important step in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, whose goal is to ultimately provide safe transportation to and from the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A in Florida for an extended stay at the space station for the Demo-2 mission. This was the final test flight for SpaceX and the first time NASA astronauts test the system in orbit.
After the Crew Dragon lifted off, it accelerated the astronauts to 17,000 mph to intercept with the International Space Station, NASA shared. Once in orbit, the crew verified that the Crew Dragon was performing correctly through maneuvering thrusters and performing other tests. After about 24 hours, the Crew Dragon docked with the space station. After docking, the crew members became members of the Expedition 63 crew and perform tests on the Crew Dragon along with research tasks on the space station. And now they are returning to Earth on August 2.
READ NEXT: Daily COVID-19 Updates