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U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® to Welcome James F. Buchli and Janet Kavandi

Veteran astronauts James F. Buchli and Janet Kavandi, who have both demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in furthering NASA’s mission of exploration and discovery, have been selected to receive one of the highest honors in their industry. This April, they will be inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame® located at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, to become two of only 99 individuals to ever receive this esteemed honor. The official announcement was made by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which oversees the selection process.
An official ceremony and gala will take place at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on April 6, 2019. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the majestic Space Shuttle Atlantis®, the ceremony will be attended by a roster of astronaut legends. Later that evening, the newest Hall of Fame members will be celebrated at a black-tie event hosted by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
“Courage, dedication and passion are qualities that define true American heroes, and both Buchli and Kavandi possess them,” said Brown. “It’s an honor to be associated with individuals who are so dedicated to NASA’s mission and who share our goal to learn more and go further. We are delighted to be adding James and Janet to the elite group of men and women who have been inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.”

James F. Buchli, STS-48, STS-61-A, STS-51-C, STS-29
An accomplished fighter pilot who dedicated 25 years to military service, retired USMC Colonel James F. Buchli became a NASA astronaut in 1979. His considerable experience includes a career 4,200 hours of flying time, 4,000 of which were in jet aircraft. He was a member of the support crew for STS-1 and STS-2, and On-Orbit CAPCOM for STS-2. A veteran of four space flights, Buchli has orbited the earth 319 times, traveling 7.74 million miles in 20 days, 10 hours, 25 minutes, 32 seconds. He served as a mission specialist on STS-51C Discovery (1985), which was the first dedicated Department of Defense mission; on STS-61A Challenger (1985), which was the first to carry eight crew members, the largest crew to fly in space, and the first in which payload activities were controlled from outside the United States; STS-29 Discovery (1989), a highly successful mission during which the crew deployed a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, performed numerous secondary experiments and took more than 3,000 photographs of the earth; and STS-48 Discovery (1991), a five-day mission during which the crew deployed the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) designed to provide scientists with their first complete data set on the upper atmosphere’s chemistry, winds and energy inputs. From March 1989 through May 1992 he also served as Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. In the fall of 1992, Buchli retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and the NASA Astronaut Office and spent the next 25 years working with Boeing Defense Space Group. He currently serves as the Operations & Utilization Manager for Space Station, Boeing Defense and Space Group in Houston, Texas.
Janet L. Kavandi, STS-91, STS-99, STS-104
Janet Kavandi was selected as a NASA astronaut in December 1994 as a member of the 15th class of U.S. astronauts. During her time in the Astronaut Office, she supported ISS payload integration, capsule communications, robotics, and served as Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. She is a veteran of three space flights, serving as a mission specialist on STS-91 (1998), STS-99 (2000), and STS-104 (2001). Kavandi has logged more than 33 days in space, traveling more than 13.1 million miles in 535 Earth orbits. She moved on to work at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, where she served as the Director of Flight Crew Operations, responsible for the Astronaut Corps and aircraft operations at Ellington Field. Janet also served as the deputy director of the Health and Human Performance Directorate, responsible for the NASA flight surgeons and human research investigations on the International Space Station (ISS). Currently, she is the Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Her work has been recognized with a Presidential Rank Award, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, two Exceptional Service Medals and three NASA Space Flight Medals.
The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame was spearheaded more than 30 years ago by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. In November 2016, a new U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame opened at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, as part of the Heroes & Legends attraction.
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Process and Eligibility
Each year, inductees are selected by a committee of Hall of Fame astronauts, former NASA officials, flight directors, historians and journalists. The process is administered by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. To be eligible, an astronaut must have made his or her first flight at least 17 years before the induction. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen and a NASA-trained commander, pilot or mission specialist who has orbited the earth at least once.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun, inspiration and educational activities, including the new Astronaut Training Experience® Exploring with Lockheed Martin, which opened in February 2018, as well as Heroes & Legends, featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, presented by Boeing, the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Shuttle Launch Experience®, IMAX® A Beautiful Planet 3D and Journey To Space 3D films, Astronaut Encounter, Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted, Science on a Sphere®, Rocket Garden, and Cosmic Quest.  Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $57 + tax for adults and $47 + tax for children ages 3 – 11. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $82 + tax for adults and $67 + tax for children ages 3 – 11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit
Twitter: @ExploreSpaceKSC
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) participated in creating a venue where space travelers could be remembered – the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, which opened in 1990. Today, the foundation serves as a consultant for the Hall of Fame, which includes conducting the selection process of astronauts for enshrinement by an outside committee. The Foundation's mission is to aid the U.S. in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships to extraordinary college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in these fields, and facilitate programs to educate the public about the impact and importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the United States. ASF has awarded almost $5 million to outstanding Astronaut Scholars nationwide with support from astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle and Space Station programs who participate in this educational endeavor. For more information, visit
Media Contacts:
Rebecca Shireman, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,, 321-449-4273 or 321-213-5926
Lauren Eisele Walbert, Sandy Hillman Communications,, 410-616-8943