Despite the mishap that plagued NASA and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon launch, the astronauts selected to ride the spacecraft are still optimistic about their upcoming mission. For them, issues are always part of the journey and going to space is like a disorganized camping trip.

In August 2018, NASA and SpaceX announced that they have selected the astronauts who will fly aboard the latter’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley were chosen for the mission due to their extensive experience.

Both are veterans of NASA’s Space Shuttle missions. Hurley piloted the STS-127 and STS-135 missions while Behnken was part of STS-123 and STS-130 as a mission specialist.

The two will pioneer SpaceX’s Crew Dragon mission, which has been contracted by NASA to transport crew members to the International Space Station. In preparation for the task, SpaceX carried out a successful launch test for the spacecraft in March. However, during a follow-up unmanned test in April, an anomaly occurred and the Crew Dragon capsule exploded.  

NASA and SpaceX have not yet identified the exact cause of the explosion but recently, the site of the incident has already been cleaned up. This means thorough investigations can now be conducted safely on Crew Dragon.

The incident was heavily regarded as a major setback for both NASA and SpaceX. However, for the two astronauts who will be spearheading the mission, issues and setbacks are part of the process especially when it comes to space exploration.

“People to a degree think it’s pretty glamorous to be able to go into space, but it’s actually like a messy camping trip,” Hurley told Reuters during an interview.

Despite the harrowing results of the second Crew Dragon launch test, Behnken and Hurley are still optimistic that NASA and SpaceX will be able to successfully identify the problem and create a fully functioning spacecraft.

The official launch of the Crew Dragon was originally scheduled in July but was delayed due to the unsuccessful test flight. Although NASA and SpaceX have not yet announced an exact date when the mission with Hurley and Behnken will happen, it has been speculated that the official launch might take place sometime in 2020.