KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (January 17, 2011) – On Friday, January 28, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., The Astronauts Memorial Foundation will conduct a ceremony to honor the crew of space shuttle Challenger STS-51L in remembrance of the 25th anniversary of the Challenger accident. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation will honor and memorialize all astronauts who have sacrificed their lives for the nation and the space program. The ceremony will be held at the Space Mirror Memorial at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Speakers will include June Scobee Rodgers, Ph.D., widow of space shuttle Challenger Commander Francis R. (Dick) Scobee; Michael J. McCulley, Captain, USN, Ret., Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Astronauts Memorial Foundation and former space shuttle pilot; Robert D. Cabana, Colonel, USMC, Ret., Director, NASA Kennedy Space Center and former space shuttle commander; Rick Soria, 2009 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award Winner; William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations; and Mick Ukleja, Ph.D., member of the Board of Trustees of The Astronauts Memorial Foundation. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation's President, Dr. Stephen Feldman, will moderate the ceremony.
The space shuttle Challenger's crew of seven astronauts died in the explosion of their spacecraft during the launch of STS-51L on January 28, 1986, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew included Commander Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Pilot Michael J. Smith, Mission Specialists Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair and Ellison S. Onizuka, Payload Specialist Gregory B. Jarvis and Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to fly in space.
The public is invited to attend the service. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will provide flowers for all ceremony guests and visitors throughout the morning to place at the memorial. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, a private, not-for-profit organization, built and maintains the Space Mirror Memorial, which was dedicated in 1991 to honor all astronauts who lost their lives on missions or during training and has since been designated a National Memorial by Congress. For more information, call 321-452-2887 or visit www.astronautsmemorialfoundation.org.
To cover this event, please contact one of the media contacts listed above by Wednesday, January 26, 2011.