Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, the astronauts who are due to launch on Wednesday with a SpaceX rocket, are both former military pilots, both recruited by NASA in 2000 and both married to other astronauts.
With their crew cuts, cool demeanor, short and precise sentences, they have all the traditional hallmarks of NASA men.
Smiling, reasonable, competent, reliable: in other words "The Right Stuff" of the early era of space travel.
They met in 2000 when they started their training with the space agency and have been best friends ever since, said Hurley, 53.
Both attended the military test pilot school, a worn path to the astronaut corps.
Behnken, 49, received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.
During his studies, he enlisted in the military and attended the Elite Air Force test pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
As a colonel, he has flown more than 25 different aircraft, including the F-22 fighter.
Hurley was also a colonel and before joining NASA, he was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the Marine Corps, a specialist in F / A ~ CHECK ~ 18.
Between 2008 and 2011, the two missions flew separately on the Space Shuttle.
In 2015, NASA commissioned her with her next mission: the crew's first crew flight, built by SpaceX and originally planned for 2017.
– dream mission –
"If you had given us one thing that we could have put on our list of dream jobs we would have got one day, it would have been to be on a new spacecraft and do a test mission," Behnken told reporters when he arrived at the Kennedy Space Center from Houston last week.
Through the Astronaut Corps, each of them got to know their women, who also have space missions in their favor.
Behnken married Megan McArthur and they have a six-year-old boy, Theodore.
Doug married Karen Nyberg and they also have a son, Jack, at the age of 10.
The bond of friendship that binds the two men is an obvious advantage for such a risky mission where everyone has to take control of the spaceship that is set to autopilot by default.
Hurley is the more meticulous, even more obsessive, of the two, Behnken said.
"If we need to get useless information, Doug is always the repository for it," Behnken joked in a video released by NASA.
Hurley himself admitted to being an expert on "obscure procedures".
As for Behncken, Hurley said his friend was thinking of everything in advance. "He's figured it all out."
But he doesn't bluff well and "doesn't have a good poker face," added Hurley.
On Monday, the head of NASA texted the couple to ask one last time: Are you sure you want to continue?
"They both came back and said," We're going to the start, "said Jim Bridenstine. "So you're ready to go."
It is a moment in which they have been training for five years.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)