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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (April 9, 2008) – The seventh group of Space Shuttle astronauts has been named to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Veteran Space Shuttle Astronauts John E. Blaha, Robert D. Cabana, Bryan D. O’Connor and Loren J. Shriver will join an elite group of American space heroes as they are inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®. Earlier inductees represent the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs. They will join the ranks of legendary space pioneers like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Sally Ride and John Young. The public ceremony at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be held Saturday, May 3 at 3:00 p.m.
Each inductee brings their own chapter to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Blaha, the third American to live aboard the Russian Mir Space Station; Cabana, the commander of the first International Space Station assembly mission; O’Connor, commander of the first shuttle mission dedicated to life sciences; and Shriver, commander of the mission to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope, will bring the number of space explorers enshrined in the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame to 70.
More than 25 astronauts have accepted invitations to attend the ceremony and honor the latest inductees including Buzz Aldrin, Scott Carpenter, John Young, Bob Crippen, Al Worden and Walt Cunningham. As part of the weekend celebration, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will feature autograph sessions and book signings with current Hall of Fame astronauts, including Bob Crippen and Hoot Gibson, on May 3 and 4. A detailed schedule of events can be found at http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/astronaut_induction.
The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is included with admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Induction weekend ticket packages are available for $70 plus tax for adults and $50 plus tax for children and include the following:
- Two-day Admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
- Reserved seating at the Induction Ceremony at 3:00 p.m.
- Commemorative poster of the 2008 Inductees
- A special Apollo 16 Lunch With the Astronauts on May 3 at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be hosted by Apollo 16 “moonwalkers” John Young and Charlie Duke
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction weekend tickets are available by telephone at 321-449-4400 or online at www.KennedySpaceCenter.com. Local accommodations are also available.
The 2008 inductees were selected by a committee of current Hall of Fame astronauts, former NASA officials and flight directors, historians, journalists and other space authorities. The process is administered by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, created in 1984 to support students seeking careers in science and technology. To be eligible, an astronaut must have made his or her first flight at least 17 years before the induction year and must be retired at least five years from NASA's astronaut corps. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen, NASA-trained and must have orbited the earth at least once. Committee members receiving ballots evaluate not only an individual's flight accomplishments but also how he or she contributed to the success and future success of the U.S. Space Program in post-flight assignments.
About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. The Visitor Complex is open daily except December 25 and certain launch days. Admission includes the new Shuttle Launch Experience, Kennedy Space Center Tour, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, all exhibits, and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft, simulator rides and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia. Admission is $38 + tax for adults and $28 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is operated by DNC Parks & Resorts at KSC, Inc., a division of Delaware North Companies, one of the world’s leading hospitality and food service providers.
About the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation participated in creating a venue where space travelers could be remembered – the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, which opened in 1990. Since 2002, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at KSC, Inc., operators of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA, has operated the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Today, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation serves as a consultant for the Hall of Fame, which includes supervising the selection of astronauts for enshrinement into the Hall. The Foundation’s mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships to exceptional college students pursuing these degrees. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million to deserving students. For more information, log on to www.AstronautScholarship.org or call 321-455-7012.
Note: Photographs and biographies of the astronaut inductees are available by contacting any listed media contacts or online at http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/pressRoom/photoDetails.asp?photoCatId=23