Astronauts Remember Walter Cronkite
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station and on the ground took time out to remember legendary journalist Walter Cronkite.
Cronkite, a television news anchorman who chronicled American spaceflight and NASA's historic Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, died Friday at the age of 92.
"We noticed that a gentleman and a pioneer passed away, and that person of course is Walter Cronkite," space shuttle Endeavour commander Mark Polansky radioed down from the space station Saturday. "And we thought that we'd be remiss in not recognizing him for what he meant to a bunch of us who happened to grow up in the era where early astronauts of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo were going up."
Polanksy recalled watching Cronkite interview astronauts on television. And mission specialist Dave Wolf said he had been lucky enough to sit next to Cronkite providing commentary when John Glenn made his space shuttle flight in 1998.
Cronkite's work "inspired a lot of us," Polansky said. "We did want to salute Mr. Cronkite and offer our best wishes and condolences to his family."
Apollo 11 moonwalker Neil Armstrong himself saluted the former CBS anchorman Saturday.
"He had a passion for human space exploration, an enthusiasm that was contagious, and the trust of his audience," Armstrong in a statement Saturday. "He will be missed."
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