Press Release

First Class of Space Shuttle Astronauts to be Inducted into Astronaut Hall of Fame

By SpaceRef Editor
September 5, 2001
Filed under ,

Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell to Host Historic Celebration At Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Nov. 9-10

On November 9 and 10, 2001,
space fans will have the opportunity to witness the induction of America’s
first class of space shuttle astronauts into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame,
joining space heroes from Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions. The
two-day celebration will take place at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,
marking the first time the Visitor Complex has hosted this prestigious event,
and the first time the public has been widely invited to participate in the
induction celebration. The last induction ceremony was held in 1997 for the
Apollo astronauts. To date, 44 astronauts have been inducted into the
Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Shuttle commanders Robert L. “Bob” Crippen (STS-1, STS-7, STS-41C,
STS-41G), Joe H. Engle (STS-2, STS-51I), Richard H. “Dick” Truly (STS-2,
STS-8) and Frederick H. “Rick” Hauck (STS-7, STS-51A, STS-26) were selected
for induction by a distinguished committee of former NASA flight directors and
officials, space journalists and a space historian. The committee was
appointed by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, for which Apollo
13 Commander Jim Lovell currently serves as Chairman.

“Space shuttle astronauts are truly unsung heroes of the space program,”
said Lovell. “Many people don’t realize that the shuttle was the first vehicle
to launch men into space without being previously flight tested unmanned. It’s
radically different from the spacecraft used in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo

On Friday evening, November 9, at 7 p.m. guests will enjoy a
pre-induction celebration at the critically acclaimed Apollo/Saturn V Center,
the recently constructed home of one of only three existing Saturn V moon
rockets in the world. The highlight of the evening will be several appearances
and meet-and-greets with previously inducted Hall of Fame astronauts.
Currently scheduled to appear are Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter; Mercury
and Gemini Astronaut Gordon Cooper; Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Astronaut Wally
Schirra; Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle Astronaut John Young; Gemini and Apollo
Astronaut Jim Lovell; Gemini and Apollo Astronaut Dick Gordon; Apollo
Astronauts Rusty Schweickart and Al Worden; Skylab Astronaut Bill Pogue; and
Skylab and Shuttle Astronauts Paul Weitz and Owen Garriott. The bill of fare
includes hand-carved roast pork loin; fresh clams and oysters; smoked salmon
and Florida crab cakes; wild mushroom risotto; international and domestic
cheeses; petit fours, cheesecake and chocolate fondue with fresh seasonal
fruit, as well as assorted non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Musical
entertainment also will be provided.

The induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 10, at 2 p.m.
at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s Shuttle Plaza, with an inspirational
backdrop of a full-size space shuttle replica. Scheduled Master of Ceremonies
is CNN’s Miami Bureau Chief, John Zarella; host is Jim Lovell.

Space fans may purchase the entire event package for just $85 adults,
$60 children ages 3-11. Package price includes admission to the Friday evening
pre-induction celebration and the Saturday afternoon induction ceremony, as
well as admission to both Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the
Astronaut Hall of Fame for three full days, November 9-11. Tickets for the
induction event may be purchased online at
or by phone at 321/449-4444. A limited number of discounted hotel rooms are
also available.

By participating in this historic event, the astronauts also help to
ensure the future of the space program — each astronaut has agreed to donate
his appearance fees to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which provides
scholarships to upper level college students and those pursuing advanced
degrees in the fields of science and engineering. A nonprofit organization,
the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was established in 1984 as the Mercury
Seven Foundation by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury
Astronauts and Mrs. Betty Grissom, widow of the seventh, Gus Grissom.

“The money raised by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation ensures that
America’s best and brightest students have an opportunity to pursue careers in
science and engineering, regardless of economic status,” said Lovell. “To
date, 146 students have received almost $1.5 million in scholarships from the

For more information about the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, call
(321) 269-6119.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, located 45 minutes east of Orlando,
Florida, offers guests the opportunity to see real components of the
International Space Station, relive man’s moon landing at the Apollo/Saturn V
Center and see space shuttle launch pads. Regular daily admission is $25 for
adults and $15 for children ages 3-11, and includes access to all exhibits,
the KSC Tour of restricted areas, Astronaut Encounter, Mad Mission to Mars
2025 and IMAX® space films. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open
from 9 a.m. to approximately dusk every day except December 25 and certain
launch days. The Astronaut Hall of Fame is located just west of Kennedy Space
Center, and features space memorabilia, authentic space hardware, and personal
artifacts from America’s space pioneers.

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SpaceRef staff editor.