The award reflected their bravery during the mission to the International Space Station in 2020, being the first recipients of the honour since 2006.
The mission was the first spacecraft to launch with astronauts as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program.
“Bob and Doug, together, have written the first page of a new chapter in the history of American spaceflight,” Vice-President Kamala Harris said.
“Bob and Doug represent the best of our nation — there’s no question about it. The courage, the commitment, the brilliance, the vision, the ability to see and understand what is possible and then to go for it, represents the best of who we are as a nation.”
Just 30 people have received the honour, including posthumous recipients from the Apollo 1, Challenger, and the Columbia missions.
“The American story is about innovation, exploration, and pioneers who forge ahead. And Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken represent the American story,” Bill Nelson, NASA administrator said.
“When Doug and Bob launched into history, a new era of human spaceflight took flight. The Demo-2 mission showcased American leadership and technological ingenuity and inspired countless minds to dare to dream to fly among the stars. Congratulations to Doug and Bob on this well-deserved honour!”
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