The Congressional Space Medal of Honor has been awarded to the two astronauts who piloted the first NASA SpaceX mission to orbit.
Two former NASA astronauts — Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — were awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor on Tuesday. The duo ushered in a new era of space exploration when they flew to orbit aboard a SpaceX rocket in 2020, for the Demo-2 mission.
Vice President Harris presented the prestigious award to Behnken and Hurley during a ceremony at the White House.
This is the celebration of excellence, Harris said.
Today we welcome two American heroes to the White House. Through their ingenuity and bravery, they have helped America rebuild the bridge to orbit.
The award, which was created by Congress in 1969, is the highest honor an astronaut can receive and is presented to astronauts who have distinguished themselves
by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and of mankind, according to NASA.
Previous awardees include Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard and John Glenn. The last astronaut to receive this award prior to Behnken and Hurley was Bob Crippen in 2006. He served as the pilot for the first space shuttle flight, STS-1.
In total, the medal has been awarded 30 times, 17 posthumously to the crews of the Apollo 1, and Challenger and Columbia space shuttles.
Behnken and Hurley are receiving the award for their role in the Demo-2 mission, SpaceX's first human spaceflight mission. After NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011, its astronauts had to rely on Russia as the sole means of transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
To read the complete article, see:
Astronauts who helped ‘rebuild the bridge to orbit' awarded medals of honor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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