Astronaut Hall of Fame Adds Space Commanders, Satellite Repairman

Astronaut Hall of Fame Adds Space Commanders, Satellite Repairman
Bill Shepherd and Jim Wetherbee on-board STS-102.
(Image: © NASA)

The firstAmerican to command five space missions, the first commander of theInternational Space Station (ISS) and a member of the first repair team toservice a satellite on-orbit will be enshrined this May in the U.S. AstronautHall of Fame.

JamesWetherbee, William Shepherd and George "Pinky" Nelson wereconfirmed on Wednesday by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation ascomprising the eighth group of space shuttle astronauts to be named to theHall. A gala and an induction ceremony will be hosted at the Kennedy SpaceCenter Visitor Complex in Florida, home to the Hall of Fame, on May 1-2, 2009.

Theaddition of the three men will bring the Hall's number of enshrined spaceexplorers to 73, which includes all of the Mercury,Gemini, Apollo and Skylab astronauts. The 2009 members were selected by acommittee of current Hall of Fame inductees, former NASA officials and flightdirectors, historians and journalists.

To beeligible, the 2009 astronauts had to have made his or her first flight in 1992or earlier, and have been retired for at least five years from NASA's corps.The candidates were required to be U.S. citizens, and have been trained by NASAas a commander, pilot or mission specialist. In addition, they had to havecompleted at least oneorbit of the Earth.

The publicis invited to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Kennedy SpaceCenter Visitor Complex on Saturday, May 2, 2009.

Clickthrough to collectSPACE.com to read more about the threeastronaut inductees.

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