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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

013 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on April 20 Features Exclusive Astronaut Meet-and-Greet Opportunity

 Witness Curt Brown, Eileen Collins and Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D. join an elite group of American space heroes as they are inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® on Saturday, April 20, 2013, during a star-studded ceremony at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. More than 30 legendary astronauts and space icons will be present at this event to welcome the new inductees. Special event ticket packages featuring meet-and-greet opportunities are available.

This year’s Astronaut Hall of Fame inductees, Brown, Collins and Dunbar, are being welcomed to the ranks of legendary space pioneers like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Jim Lovell, Sally Ride and John Young – all distinguished members of the Hall of Fame. Earlier inductees represent the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs.  The addition of Brown, a veteran of six space shuttle flights; Collins, the first woman to pilot and command a space shuttle; and Dunbar, who served as a shuttle mission specialist and payload commander, brings the number of space explorers enshrined in the Hall of Fame to 85.

This induction is the twelfth group of space shuttle astronauts named to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and the first time two women will be inducted at the same time. These retired space shuttle astronauts also share a commonality in their spaceflight history, as they each flew aboard space shuttle Atlantis during their careers.

The 2013 Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Package includes admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and a private meet-and-greet opportunity with Hall of Fame astronauts John Blaha, Robert “Hoot” Gibson, Jeffery Hoffman and Loren Shriver, all of whom flew on space shuttle Atlantis, and a commemorative poster autographed by Brown, Collins and Dunbar. The package also includes reserved seating at the ceremony, only available to ticket package holders. The 2013 Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Package is $74.99 plus tax for adults and $64.99 plus tax for children ages 3-11.  Commander’s Club annual passholders can enjoy the private meet-and-greet opportunity, reserved seating at the ceremony and an autographed poster for $24.99.

As a special addition to this year’s induction program, former Girl Scouts and Hall of Fame astronauts Eileen Collins and Kathyrn Thornton are holding a private audience for Girl Scouts. Collins, the first female space shuttle commander and Thornton, the first woman space walker, will share how their experiences as Girls Scouts prepared them to be astronauts. The Girl Scout Legends Program tickets are $21 plus tax for youth and $45.50 plus tax for adults, and are only available to Girl Scouts and their chaperones. A limited number of seats for this program are available.

Regular Visitor Complex admission on April 20 includes a standing room only public viewing area of the induction ceremony and access to two public autograph signing opportunities with Hall of Fame astronauts Thornton and Bob Crippen, the pilot of the first orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Program and commander of three additional shuttle flights.  Regular admission is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children ages 3-11. For more information on the 2013 Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction or to purchase your ticket, please call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction schedule of events:
9-9:30 a.m.                        Girl Scout Legends Program with Eileen Collins and Kathyrn Thornton
10-10:45 a.m.                    Public signing with Kathyrn Thornton
10:30-11:15 a.m.              Private meet-and-greet with Atlantis astronauts John Blaha, Robert “Hoot” Gibson, Jeffery Hoffman and Loren Shriver
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.     Public signing with Bob Crippen
2-3:30 p.m.                        Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at NASA Central

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex welcomes these former Atlantis astronauts to the Hall of Fame in the same year as the opening of Atlantis’ new home, Space Shuttle Atlantis. The $100-million, 90,000 square-foot interactive experience, opens June 29 and tells the dramatic story of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program and highlights the future of space exploration.