Going behind the space suit: Getting to know the astronauts of Crew-2

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet will soon start their six-month stay aboard the International Space Station.

So, who are these astronauts?

Born in Texas, retired U.S. Army Colonel Shane Kimbrough was selected as an astronaut in 2004. NASA says this will be his third trip to space and his second long stay at the space station. He has spent 189 days in space. 

Kyle Herring, the director of public affairs for NASA’s commercial crew says he knows Shane and the entire team well.

RELATED: SpaceX Crew-2 timeline: What the astronauts will do leading up to and after liftoff

"Shane is a really cool character. Shane has been around for quite awhile … He served in a role, kind of a supporting role for that Demo-2 mission a year ago where he oversaw all of the activities in the astronaut office associated with preparations for crews to go fly and now it is his turn to go fly on a crew dragon," said Herring.

crew-2 nasa spacex

Photo from SpaceX

Honolulu-born and California-raised Megan McArthur will be making her first trip to the ISS and her second trip to space. She was selected as an astronaut in 2000.

"There is nothing like it when you look out the window and see a spaceship getting prepared and realize you are going to be riding on it in a few days," Megan McArthur said during their arrival speech.

"Turns out that Megan McArthur, is going to be the pilot and she is going to be sitting in the same seat that her husband Bob Benkhen sat in for that test flight a little more than a year ago," Herring said. 

RELATED: Launch Forecast: Will weather cooperate for a smooth liftoff?

The international crew consists of Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet.

This will be Hoshide’s third space flight. He is a member of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and has spent over 100 days at the ISS. 

"I have known Aki for 20 something years. I got to meet him before he was even an astronaut in Japan. When I went there for a trip we worked together on a trip over there and he is just a great guy," Herring said. 

Thomas Pesquet was previously a crew member on Expeditions 50 and 51. He is a member of the European Space Agency and has spent 196 days in space.

"They certainly all know each other very well, they have been training for quite a while and now they are going to go put that training to work in space and join the other crew members on board," Herring said.

All four astronauts are still scheduled to take off at 5:49 a.m. Friday morning.

Watch Good Day Orlando Friday morning for LIVE and complete coverage of the Crew-2 astronaut launch. You can also watch it on your phone by downloading the FOX 35 News App.