11.19.2021
After a yearlong postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame this week inducted three new members as its 19th class of honorees at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The three inductees – veteran NASA astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pamela Melroy and Scott Kelly – were honored for their outstanding accomplishments in furthering NASA’s mission of exploration and discovery.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which is operated for NASA by Delaware North, hosted the induction ceremony beneath the iconic space shuttle Atlantis. The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame opened its new permanent home at the complex in 2016 as part of the Heroes & Legends attraction.

“With the return of crewed missions to space – and the promise of more on the horizon – it is important to recognize those who paved the way for the new era of space exploration,” said Therrin Protze, Delaware North’s chief operating officer at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “Without the dedication and commitment of pioneers like Capt. Lopez-Alegria, Col. Melroy and Capt. Kelly, we would not be at the precipice of this new phase of discovery.”

Joining Protze with remarks to officially welcome the astronauts were veteran astronaut and 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Brian Duffy, veteran astronaut Susan Helms, NASA administrator Bill Nelson, associate NASA administrator Robert Cabana and Curt Brown, board chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. More than 15 fellow veteran astronauts attended the ceremony, including Charlie Bolden, Eileen Collins and John Grunsfeld.
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