Press Release

Astronaut Brings Back Medal of Honor After Six Month Stay on ISS

By SpaceRef Editor
April 7, 2011
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After living aboard the International Space Station for six months, NASA astronaut Douglas Wheelock will return to Harpursville, N.Y., on April 6 to relive his spaceflight experience for students of Harpursville Central School District and to return the Medal of Honor he carried with him in space.

Beginning at 10 a.m. EDT, Wheelock will give a presentation to elementary and middle school students of Harpursville Central, 54 Main St., Harpursville. The presentation includes a video of Wheelock’s time in space followed by a brief question-and-answer session.

The official return of the Medal of Honor starts at 1:30 p.m. in the Harpursville High School auditorium. During the military-style ceremony, Wheelock will transfer the Medal of Honor to Doris Stone, mother of Sgt. Lester R. Stone Jr. The ceremony is open to the public and media are encouraged to attend.

Sgt. Stone was killed in action west of Landing Zone Liz, Republic of Vietnam, on March 3, 1969. The official citation states, “The medal was presented for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his (Stone’s) life above and beyond the call of duty.” The Medal of Honor was given to Stone’s parents and sister by President Richard Nixon at a White House ceremony on April 7, 1970. Wheelock carried the Medal of Honor during Expeditions 24 and 25 to the space station in 2010 as a tribute to Stone.

Wheelock and his crewmates, cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, joined the Expedition 24 crew members when their Soyuz TMA-19 crew capsule docked with the orbiting station on June 17, 2010. Wheelock assumed command of the station and Expedition 25 with the departure of Expedition 24 Commander Alexander Skvortsov. While in orbit, the crew helped support more than 120 microgravity experiments. Their mission ended 163 days later with a return to Earth on Nov. 25, 2010.

For more about Wheelock and expeditions to the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station

SpaceRef staff editor.