WASHINGTON, DC (WIVT/WBGH) – An Apalachin native is one of 2 former astronauts who were honored for their bravery at a ceremony in our nation’s capital.

Owego Free Academy graduate Doug Hurley and his fellow former astronaut Bob Behnken received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor yesterday.

Vice President Kamala Harris bestowed the honor on them during a ceremony in Washington, DC.

Hurley and Behnken were the first Americans to go to space in a commercial rocket.

In May of 2020, a Space-X Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Crew Dragon spacecraft launched to the International Space Station, marking the first mission to launch with astronauts as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Hurley and Behnken not only flew that mission, they helped Space-X design the Dragon capsule.

Vice President Kamala Harris said, “They understood the stakes of their work for our nation, for our world and importantly, for the astronauts who would one day entrust their lives to the Dragon capsule.”

Hurley also piloted 2 shuttle flights, including the 2011 Shuttle Atlantis which was the final flight of the NASA shuttle program.

You can watch the entire ceremony below.