Astronauts prepare for Halloween launch from Kennedy Space Center


BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) – Three NASA astronauts, Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Mike Hopkins with Soichi Noguchi, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are set to launch from the Space Coast on Halloween.

“I’m very excited to be sitting here next to Victor, Shannon, and Soichi. We’ve had a lot of fun in our training,” Hopkins said.

The preparation for their mission has been helped with tips from astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley who blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center earlier this year.

“You get to hear, sometimes, the little details that don’t show up in a training program,” Hopkins said. “For example, they talked a lot about some of the sounds that occurred during the fueling process.”

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is different from the seating in the Russian Soyuz Space Craft which some of them have used.

“I think it’s very comfortable compared to the Soyuz which has three (seats.) It’s a much tighter space where you’re actually sitting,” Walker said.

The mission is full of firsts. Glover will be the first Black astronaut to spend a long period of time in space, making history.

“I actually try very hard not to think a lot about it. I want to go up there. I want to do my job very well,” Glover said. “It’s bittersweet and I can’t tell you why it’s taken us this long, but again I hope to go up there and do my job to the best of my ability.”

“I think that is one of the nice things about this crew is people out there can take a look at it and find something similar, familiar to them and we hope that can be an inspiration to them,” Hopkins said.
“Also celebrating our differences and hoping that can inspire folks from all across the country and the world.”


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