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NASA Astronaut & Commander Of SpaceX's First Human Mission Doug Hurley Retires

NASA astronaut Doug Hurley rehearses putting on his SpaceX spacesuit last week at the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Kim Shiflett
/
NASA
NASA astronaut Doug Hurley rehearses putting on his SpaceX spacesuit last week at the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA astronaut and commander of SpaceX’s first human space mission Doug Hurley is retiring.

Hurley joined the astronaut corps in 2000 and flew two space shuttle missions. He piloted both STS-127 Endeavour and served as a pilot for the last Space Shuttle mission on Atlantis.

As NASA transitioned to private companies for rides to the International Space Station, Hurley was named as the commander of SpaceX’s DM-2 mission — a return to human spaceflight nearly a decade after Shuttle ended.

“I certainly didn’t expect to fly again,” said Hurley. “I certainly didn’t necessarily have a plan to fly again. And if I did, it would, you know, have had to have been a case where somebody would have wanted me to.”

In his 21 years as an astronaut, Hurley spent 93 days in space. All three of his missions launch from Florida’s Space Coast.

“Doug Hurley is a national hero,” said Reid Weisman, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Doug made significant impacts everywhere he served at NASA.”

During his time at NASA, he met his wife Karen Nyberg, another astronaut.

“For 21 years, I’ve had the incredible honor of participating in the American space program and working alongside the extremely dedicated people of NASA,” said Hurley. “It is truly humbling when reflecting back on it all.”

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