Two space veterans are included in the Astronaut Hall of Fame

On May 6, 2023, an Astronaut Hall of Fame (AHOF) induction ceremony was held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Veteran astronauts Roy D. Bridges Jr. and Senator Mark E. Kelly received the honorary title for their contribution to the development of the space industry, as well as demonstrating outstanding achievements in NASA research missions. Thus, the total number of honorary AHOF participants has reached 107 people.

Veteran astronauts Roy D. Bridges Jr. and Senator Mark E. Kelly received an honorary title for their contribution to the development of the space industry

“As NASA astronauts, Mark Kelly and Roy D. Bridges Jr. dared us to keep looking upward and pushing outward into the unknown. After their time exploring the heavens, both continued to serve NASA and our nation. Americans and people from around the world will continue to come to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Many are members of the Artemis Generation who will find endless inspiration in the stories of NASA’s legendary explorers, adventurers, and pioneers,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson during the ceremony.

Roy D. Bridges Jr. – U.S. Air Force Major General, retired NASA astronaut

Roy D. Bridges Jr.

Roy D. Bridges Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he received a bachelor’s degree in engineering science. Bridges received a Master of Science in astronautics from Purdue University in Indiana, and in May 2001 he received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Purdue. 

From August 2003 to October 3, 2005, Bridges was the director of NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Prior to that, he was the director of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for six years. Bridges is the recipient of numerous awards.

As a NASA astronaut, Bridges was a Space Shuttle Challenger pilot on the STS-51F mission, also known as Spacelab 2, which launched on July 29, 1985, and landed eight days later, on August 6. In 2005, Bridges retired as director of Langley and NASA.

Senator Mark E. Kelly – Captain, U.S. Navy, retired NASA astronaut

Senator Mark E. Kelly

Mark Kelly was born in Orange, New Jersey and is the twin brother of Scott Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut and Hall of Fame member. In 1986, he received a Bachelor of Science in marine engineering and Navigation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy. In 1994, he received a Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Navy Graduate School. During his career, Mark flew more than 5,000 hours on more than 50 different aircraft and made more than 375 landings on an aircraft carrier.

Mark was elected a NASA astronaut in 1996. During the first flight into space, he was the Endeavour pilot during the STS-108 mission in December 2001. The next time Mark piloted the Discovery in July 2006 during the STS-121 mission, it was the second mission after the loss of Columbia in 2003. During the flight of Discovery STS-124, he became the commander. The STS-134 mission aboard Endeavour was also led by Mark. On board the shuttles, Mark traveled more than 400 million kilometers and made 754 orbits around the Earth for more than 51 days. 

How to get into the Astronaut Hall of Fame?

Inside the Space Shuttle Atlantis in the visitor complex of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, two space explorers (left to right): Roy Bridges Jr. and Mark Kelly, inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2023 on May 6. Authorship: NASA

The applicants are selected by the Astronaut Hall of Fame committee, and the process is led by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, founded by the first seven Mercury astronauts in 1984. To be eligible for the nomination, an astronaut must make his first flight at least 17 years before taking office and be dismissed from NASA for at least five years. Each candidate must be a U.S. citizen and a commander, pilot, or mission specialist trained by NASA who has completed at least one orbit around the Earth. 

Earlier we reported why a Canadian was chosen to join the Artemis II team.

According to NASA

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