NASA astronaut and U.S. Air Force Colonel Michael Hopkins is expected to be the first officer sworn into the U.S. Space Force.
Hopkins is also the captain of the upcoming SpaceX Crew Dragon mission, according to an article published Tuesday by Axios.
Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 in the hangar at Launch Complex 39A ahead of launching four astronauts to the @space_station; liftoff targeted for Saturday, November 14 at 7:49 p.m. EST pic.twitter.com/dlMrPUpr4d
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 9, 2020
“If all goes well, we’re looking to swear him into the Space Force from the International Space Station,” Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force Gen. John “Jay” Raymond told Space News.
Hopkins will be joined by three other crew members during this trip including NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission specialist Soichi Noguchi, the outlet reported.
Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon vertical on Launch Complex 39A pic.twitter.com/hBVUHWv3Ab
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 10, 2020
Hopkins was selected by NASA to be an astronaut back in 2009 and has voluntarily made the switch to the Space Force, Space News reported.
Space Force sees Hopkins’ transition “as a way to spotlight the decades-long partnership between DoD and NASA,” spokesperson for the chief of space operations, Col. Catie Hague, told Space News. (RELATED: Trump Founds First New Military Service In 70 Years With Space Force)
Plans for Space Force are up in the air after Joe Biden was projected to become the next president of the United States. The Space Force was created by President Trump to protect U.S. national security in space.
“The Space Force needs to prove its value and prove it was not just some whim of an idea by President Trump,” analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Todd Harrison, told Axios.