31 Astronauts - from Gemini and Apollo to Space Shuttle and Space Station - to be honored at 'A Salute to America's Military Astronauts' Luncheon at National Space Symposium
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Apr. 3, 2002) -- From the second man on the moon, to the first African-American in space, to the world record holder for time spent space walking - the `Salute to America's Military Astronauts` luncheon program scheduled April 10 in Colorado Springs will honor one of the largest-ever gatherings of past, present and future military astronauts. A patriotic tribute to astronauts who are also members of the U.S. armed forces, the `Salute` takes place at The Broadmoor during the 18th National Space Symposium, and is co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman, NASA, United States Space Command and the Space Foundation. With 31 astronauts confirmed to attend, the total space flight experience at the luncheon includes 73 flights and 718 days in space. Honored attendees include Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Jr. (Col., USAF, Ret.); Dr. Guion Bluford (Col., USAF, Ret.); and Col. Susan Helms, USAF. For the complete list of attending astronauts, visit www.spacesymposium.org. Tickets for the luncheon are $65. To purchase, call the Space Foundation at 1-800-691-4000. Aldrin has logged more than 289 hours in space during two flights. On Gemini 12, he established an extravehicular activity (EVA) record of 5-1/2 hours outside the spacecraft, and as lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, he was the second man to step foot on the moon. He is currently president of Starcraft Enterprises. Bluford was the first African-American in space, serving as a mission specialist on STS-8, STS 61-A, STS-39, and STS-53, and logging more than 688 hours in space. He is now vice president & general manager of the major programs sector at Northrop Grumman Information Technologies, and a member of the board of directors of the Space Foundation. A veteran of five space flights, Helms has logged more than 206 days in space, including an EVA of eight hours and 56 minutes, the world record. She flew on STS-54, STS-64, STS-78, STS-101, and most recently as a member of the Expedition-2 crew aboard the International Space Station. Space legends like these inspired the official National Space Symposium artwork created by artist Robert McCall, which depicts astronauts from several eras and programs proudly displaying the American flag. Known as the only conference in the space industry that fully integrates the civil, national security and commercial space sectors, the National Space Symposium takes place April 8-11 in Colorado Springs. Visit www.spacesymposium.org to view the symposium artwork or to get information on the event. "A Salute to America's Military Astronauts" Luncheon program includes remarks by Gen. Ed Eberhart, USAF, Commander in Chief NORAD/U.S. Space Command and Commander, Air Force Space Command, and a special space flight documentary video provided by The Science Channel - part of the Discovery Networks family. The United States Air Force Band of the Rockies, Blue Steel, will give a special patriotic musical performance. The Space Foundation is a national non-profit organization advancing space awareness and education. In addition to the National Space Symposium, the Foundation conducts the International Space Symposium, which is scheduled to take place in Toulouse, France, September 10-13, 2002.