Joining the Hall of Fame this year are former astronauts Franklin Chang-Diaz, Kevin Chilton and Charles Precourt. Chang-Diaz, a veteran of seven space shuttle flights, has logged more than 1,601 hours in space. Chilton, the pilot on space shuttle Endeavour’s maiden voyage in 1992, served as the commander of shuttle Atlantis’ STS-76 mission to the Russian space station Mir in 1996. Precourt flew on four space shuttle missions from 1993 to 1998, three of which were to Mir. This will be the 11th group of space shuttle astronauts named to the Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of space explorers inducted to 82.
More than 28 Hall of Fame astronauts have accepted invitations to attend the ceremony, including Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter, Apollo astronaut Walt Cunningham and space shuttle astronaut Bruce McCandless.