Astronauts Michael E. Lopez-Alegria, Pamela A. Melroy and Scott Kelly to be Inducted Into U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at KSC
By Space Coast Daily // April 19, 2021
ceremony will take place at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on November 13, 2021
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Veteran astronauts Michael E. Lopez-Alegria, Pamela A. Melroy and Scott Kelly, will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on November 13, 2021.
The much-anticipated ceremony will honor these three extraordinary veterans who have all demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in furthering NASA’s mission of exploration and discovery and have been selected to receive one of the highest honors in their industry.
Postponed from the original date due to the pandemic, the November ceremony will see Lopez-Alegria, Melroy and Kelly join the 99 individuals who already hold the esteemed title of U.S. Hall of Fame Astronaut.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the majestic Space Shuttle Atlantis®, the official ceremony will take place at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on November 13, 2021, and will be attended by an impressive array of legendary astronauts. That same evening, in the Apollo/Saturn V Center, a black-tie event will be hosted by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
“This year’s induction is incredibly important to us,” said Curt Brown, chairman of the board, Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. “After postponing the ceremony last year for the first time in history due to the pandemic, we want to commemorate Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pamela Melroy and Scott Kelly properly. Each of these astronaut veterans has made extraordinary contributions to space exploration – and we are honored to be able to finally officially welcome them into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®.”
Lopez-Alegria, Melroy and Kelly all have had distinguished careers, centered in their passion of space and science:
Capt. Michael E. Lopez-Alegria, STS-73, STS-92, STS-113, Expedition 14
Michael E. Lopez-Alegria has more than 40 years of aviation and space experience with the U.S. Navy and NASA in a variety of roles including naval aviator, engineering test pilot, program manager, NASA astronaut and International Space Station commander. He has completed four NASA spaceflights, three aboard the space shuttle during STS-73, STS-92, and STS-113, his fourth, as commander of International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 14 (flying to and from the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-9). He holds NASA records for most (10) extravehicular activities (EVA) also known as spacewalks, as well as cumulative EVA time of 67 hours and 40 minutes.
Lopez-Alegria is the former president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, where he served as spokesman, thought leader and advocate with the U.S. Congress and pertinent executive agencies, and advocated for favorable public policy on behalf of the commercial spaceflight industry. He has served on several advisory boards and committees of public and private institutions, including the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council and the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee to the FAA.
Lopez-Alegria is the chairman of ASTM International’s Committee on Commercial Spaceflight and past-president of the Association of Space Explorers, an international professional and educational organization of current and former astronauts.
Col. Pamela A. Melroy, STS-92, STS-112, STS-120
Pamela A. Melroy is an aerospace executive with government and industry experience across civil, commercial and national security space. She is a retired Air Force test pilot and former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander. Melroy flew the KC-10 for six years at Barksdale Air Force Base as an Air Force co-pilot, aircraft commander and instructor pilot, and is a veteran of Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, with more than 200 combat and combat support hours.
Later, Melroy was assigned to the C-17 Combined Test Force, where she served as a test pilot until her selection for the astronaut program. She has logged more than 6,000 hours of flight time in more than 50 different aircraft and spacecraft.
Melroy was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1995 and has completed three space missions, serving as space shuttle pilot for STS-92 and STS-112, and as space shuttle commander for STS-120. All three flights were assembly missions to build the International Space Station. She is one of only two women to command the space shuttle and has logged more than 38 days in space. Her multiple roles in the Astronaut Office included launch and landing support, CAPCOM, crew module lead for the Columbia Reconstruction Team and deputy project manager for the Columbia crew survival investigation team.
Following her retirement from NASA in 2009, Melroy served as Deputy Program Manager for the Lockheed Martin Orion Space Exploration Initiatives program and as Director of Field Operations and acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration and with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Melroy is currently CEO of Melroy & Hollett Technology Partners and Director of Space Technology and Policy at Nova Systems, Pty, in Australia. She serves on multiple advisory boards including the User Advisory Group to the National Space Council.
Capt. Scott Kelly, STS-103, STS-118, Expedition 25/26, Expedition 43/44/45/46
Scott Kelly is a retired American astronaut and U.S. Navy captain, U.S. spaceflight record holder and an experienced test pilot having logged more than 15,000 hours of flight time in more than 40 different aircraft and spacecraft. A former fighter pilot, Kelly flew the F-14 Tomcat aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Kelly was selected by NASA as an astronaut in 1996. A veteran of four space shuttle flights, he piloted Discovery to the Hubble Space Telescope in 1999 and, subsequently, commanded Endeavour on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2007. His long-duration space flight experience includes two flights on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, launching and landing from Kazakhstan and two stays aboard the ISS as commander, the first a 159-day mission in 2010-2011 followed by his record-breaking 340-day mission aboard the ISS in 2015. During his year-long mission, known worldwide as the “Year in Space,” he conducted three spacewalks before returning home in March 2016. Kelly has traveled more than 200 million miles, which is more than twice the distance to the sun from the Earth and has orbited the Earth more than 8,300 times.
Among the many honors Kelly has received are the Defense Superior Service medal, the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Kelly is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a member of the Association of Space Explorers. He was appointed Champion for Space by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). As Champion for Space, Kelly helps raise awareness of UNOOSA’s activities. He is also a best-selling author of multiple books, including his memoir “Endurance.” His identical twin brother Mark is also a former NASA astronaut and the current junior U.S. Senator from Arizona.
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Process and Eligibility
The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame was spearheaded more than 30 years ago by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame is located at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in the Heroes & Legends attraction.
Each year*, inductees are selected by a committee of Hall of Fame astronauts, former NASA officials, flight directors, historians and journalists, and 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, and candidates must be a U.S. citizen and a NASA-trained commander, pilot or mission specialist who has orbited the Earth at least once.
*There will be no astronaut inductee class of 2021.
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