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 credit: 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 to read more about the threeastronaut inductees.

  • Video - Space Station Acrobatics
  • Video - Bloopers in Space
  • NASA's Most Memorable Missions 

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Robert Z. Pearlman Editor, Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.