Watch 2 pioneering former NASA astronauts receive the Congressional Space Medal of Honor today

Two trailblazing former NASA astronauts will receive the Congressional Space Medal of Honor from U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday (Jan. 31), and you can watch the action live.

Harris will bestow the prestigious award on Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley for their bravery, NASA officials said. The duo flew SpaceX's first-ever crewed mission, the Demo-2 test flight to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020.

The event begins Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. EST (2115 GMT). Watch it live here at, courtesy of NASA, or directly via the agency.

Related: SpaceX's historic Demo-2 astronaut flight in photos

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken, who flew to the International Space Station for SpaceX's Demo-2 mission, brief mission controllers about their experience in SpaceX's new Crew Dragon spacecraft, on June 1, 2020.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken brief mission controllers about their experience aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft on June 1, 2020, shortly after arriving at the International Space Station aboard the private vehicle on SpaceX's Demo-2 test flight.  (Image credit: NASA)

Demo-2 lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket on May 30, 2020, sending Behnken and Hurley toward the ISS aboard a Dragon capsule. The test flight lasted just over two months, wrapping up on Aug. 2 when the Dragon splashed down safely off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.

The successful mission was a huge milestone for both SpaceX and NASA, ushering in a new era of private astronaut trips to the ISS. Elon Musk's company is in the middle of its fifth contracted crewed flight to the orbiting lab for NASA and is gearing up to launch its sixth in late February.

Hurley retired from NASA in July 2021, and Behnken followed suit in November 2022.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.