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  5/1-2: 2009 Astronaut Hall of Fame induction (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   5/1-2: 2009 Astronaut Hall of Fame induction

Posts: 22
From: Port Salerno, FL, USA
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 04-27-2009 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Darron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wish I were joining you all, usually never miss these, but the economic situation has me watching every penny...

Still, I'll be sending a check to the Foundation - every little bit helps!


Posts: 1906
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 04-30-2009 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have one ticket for admission plus seating at the Induction for Saturday if anyone is interested in it. Must pick it up at KSC from me.

Mike Isbell

Posts: 342
From: Silver Spring, Maryland USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-30-2009 02:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Isbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Joining the hall of fame this year are former astronauts George "Pinky" Nelson, one of only four space shuttle astronauts to fly untethered in space using NASA's Manned Maneuvering Unit
As for George 'Pinky' Nelson being one of only four astronauts to fly untethered during an EVA using the MMU, I count at least six others: Bruce McCandless, Robert Stewart, Joseph Allen, Dale Gardner, Mark Lee and Carl Meade that performed untethered EVA's using the MMU. I'm not certain if James van Hoften also used the MMU on STS-41-B. My recollection is that he did not, but I am less than certain. I am also not certain whether or not either STS-51I or 61B included an untethered EVA.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-30-2009 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark Lee and Carl Meade did not fly the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU); they tested the Simplified Aid for Eva Rescue (SAFER), which while also serving as a tetherless propulsion unit for astronauts, is not the MMU.

The MMU was used on only three space shuttle missions: STS-41B, STS-41C and STS-51A. On those missions, McCandless, Stewart, Nelson, Gardner and Allen flew the MMU without a tether. Van Hoften also flew the MMU in the payload bay, but may have been tethered while doing so, I'm not sure.

irish guy

Posts: 277
From: Kerry Ireland
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 05-02-2009 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking forward to hearing all your stories from the weekend, just finished watching the induction on NASA TV, loved Jim Wetherbee's speech. Garry and Brian, we hope to join you next year, we are all set for STS-125, flying out on Saturday.


Posts: 961
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 05-03-2009 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a nice event for everyone to enjoy. Excellent job by Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) President Al Worden and the ASF staff led by Linn LeBlanc. The purpose was to raise scholarship funds for brilliant scholars to they can study and do research and not flip burgers to pay for college. These scholars are the creme de la creme.

Other highlights for me...

  1. Talking with Dick Gordon for a minute -- he is back to good health for which we are all grateful. Dick also stole the show during the watch drawing with his unmatchable humor.

  2. Getting to meet and chat with Richard Garriott. He is a neat individual: inventor, developer, scientist, researcher, and a very personable guy to talk with. Thank you Richard for spending some time with me.

  3. Mentioned Eamonn's name to one of his favorite astronauts: Brian Duffy.

  4. Touched base with Jon McBride after a 20 year hiatus. I had met him 20 years ago as he opened the National Air and Space Museum teacher resource room (which is now closed).

  5. Saw the joy in a college student from Texas (Chelsea is her name, I believe) who flew in for the day -- induction and book signing and she met her first astronaut -- Jim Lovell. I encouraged her to join our collectSPACE family. Are you there Chelsea?

  6. A wonderful chat with the incomparable Story Musgrave in the gift shop. Story is a very gracious and humble man whom I admire for his diverse careers and achievements.

  7. Knowing that cS member Rob Joyner has some tremendous problem solving skills.

  8. Met UK cS member Martin and his wife and also a tattooed "Spacey Chick" and her husband.

  9. An awesome performance by the original Max Q band.
I had a tremendous time the entire weekend and the main beneficiaries were the astronaut scholars. These young men and ladies will make a difference.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.


Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-03-2009 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to Steve Kaplan for capturing the moment I was first ever asked for my autograph. Thank you to Martin for thinking my 50th patch deserved to be framed.

It was a pleasure meeting up with all of the cSer's present. Thank you all for your generous compliments on my Apollo Commemorative and your good wishes for mine and Jorge's success in designing crew patches.

I remain grateful to cS for making this community possible.


Posts: 512
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 05-04-2009 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was so good to meet fellow collectSPACE friends at the event. I enjoyed meeting Torie, Jill, Tim, Lisa, Paul, Rob and Robert Pearlman. It is always good to get together and talk space. It was also a treat to be able to set aside time to meet with Ken at his home. Thank you to all my collectSPACE friends for making it a good time.

Now I have to be honest and say as far as the ASF event, I wish it could of have been better. I am sure alot of people have different views than me, but during the reception on Friday evening, I was assigned to table #11 and it was way over on the far right side of the Apollo Saturn V Center and I could hardly see the stage or the screens and the band performance. That is why I had to get up during the evening and go to the back in order to see a lot of the events. It was very difficult to meet an astronaut and their families when you have the ASF personel/security walking around and telling you to return to your table. I feel that the ASF staff could of have done a better job in arranging a lot of things referring to this event. Not every table had an astronaut at it and talking to some other people (at the event) they said even some people who paid the $500.00 ticket didn't even have an astronaut at their table. I have also heard some people say that these events have been much better in the past!

I am not sure if I will attend next year's induction program due to this one not being very good. This is just my view and I am sure there will be fellow collectSPACE friends who disagree with me, but I just wanted to share my experience and view with you all. Meeting collectSPACE friends was a positive highlight of the event.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-04-2009 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
David, I'm sorry to read that you didn't have as enjoyable an evening as others.

Personally, I made a conscious effort not to be the "roving reporter" I have been at past Astronaut Hall of Fame inductions, leaving all but a pocket video camera at home for the gala and only taking photographs at the ceremony. It was the first time I can remember not being in such a frenzy that I was able to actually enjoy the weekend -- and personally, I found it quite enjoyable.

Among the highlights:

  • Having a wonderful conversation (as always) with Fred Ordway, who worked with Wernher von Braun, to be joined by Charlie Duke (sporting a wonderful Texas flag tie), during the reception preceding the gala.

  • At the same reception, chatting with Buzz and Lois Aldrin, as well as Dick Gordon.

  • At the gala, being seated with Fred Ordway, Bryan McKay and Steve Hawley (among others) for a very good dinner. I greatly appreciated the chance to talk with Hawley about Hubble servicing and Max Q (more about the latter in a moment).

  • Seeing again Richard Garriott and learning of his new project (look for more about that in the coming weeks).

  • Meeting Frank Cepollina amongst a table of "Hubble Huggers" (including Bruce McCandless and Loren Shriver). If you don't know who Cepollina is, you should.

  • Seeing something I thought I would never see: a performance (and encore!) by the original members of Max Q, the All-Astronaut Band. They are now all members of the Astronaut Hall of Fame: Brewster Shaw, Pinky Nelson, Hoot Gibson, Jim Wetherbee and Steve Hawley.

  • Setting up a temporary collectSPACE office on a picnic bench at the Visitor Center and spending time chatting with Steve Kaplan, Jay Rubin and Tim Gagnon.

  • Meeting up with some great collectSPACE members for a group photo.

  • Seeing again Walt and Dot Cunningham, as well as Owen and Eve Garriott at the induction ceremony.

  • Getting the chance to thank Senator Nelson for his support of the space shuttle program and NASA.
Now, as for the few photos I did take (click to enlarge):

The 2009 inductees on stage with fellow Astronaut Hall of Fame enshrinees.
cS'rs (from left to right): Garry "MarylandSpace" Laing, Mr. and Mrs. Lisa "SpaceyChick" DeWispelaere, Martin "martinbiddulph" Biddulph, Bryan "BMckay" McKay, Tim "KSCArtist" Gagnon, Steve "Steven Kaplan" Kaplan, Rob "Rob Joyner" Joyner, Brad "BMacKinnon" MacKinnon, Ben "Ben" Cooper, and Mrs. Biddulph.
Hall of Famers (from left to right): Ed Gibson, Bob Crippen, Bruce McCandless, Bob Cabana, Hoot Gibson, Rick Hauck, Jeff Hoffman, Al Worden, Vance Brand, Loren Shriver, Fred Gregory, Steve Hawley, Pinky Nelson, Bill Shepherd, Jim Wetherbee, Brewster Shaw, Dan Brandenstein, Gordon Fullerton, Hank Hartsfield, Owen Garriott, Charlie Duke, Ed Mitchell, Walt Cunningham, John Blaha, Jim Lovell, Scott Carpenter, Dick Gordon, and Buzz Aldrin.
The 2009 inductees and their wives.


Posts: 1056
From: Tucson, AZ USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 05-04-2009 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Van Hoften also flew the MMU in the payload bay, but may have been tethered while doing so, I'm not sure.
He was not.



Posts: 1906
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 05-05-2009 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wanted to give you everyone my impressions about the 2009 HOF Inductions.

Arrived Friday and met up with Garry and headed over to KSC Visitor Center to hang out, check out Story’s need book, get it signed, talk to him and spend more money at the gift shop. If you have not gotten the book yet, please spend the money and do so. The photos are fantastic. It is a cool jet! Also visited with DNC sales dept for possible future contacts.

Then checked into the Days Inn in Titusville. A very modest hotel but it is easy to get to places, has many stores and restaurants around, a modest/fair room rate and clean. Then it was off to the VIP reception for me. It was not a place to ask for autographs and I learned awhile ago not to go to the galas and run around asking for autographs but to just go an enjoy the talks, the introductions, the people. If you go for the sole purpose of autograph hunting you will probably be disappointed in the long run. Many of the astronauts were signing and most were having a good time interacting with everyone. The VIP reception/astronaut at table at the HOF is worth the extra money. It all goes to a good cause. Steve and I were the first to walk into the reception at the HOF. Boy did that feel weird. It soon filled up and was packed. It was great to watch and talk as friends got reacquainted.

The gala at the Saturn V Center was a blast. I had a fun table with an ASF Scholar, Rob and astronaut Steve Hawley. It was the second year in a row I sat with Steve. I hope he doesn't think I am a stalker. I did get a chance to catch up with the Duffys, Dick Gordon and many others. It was fun to watch Max Q play. I knew something was up earlier when we saw Jim Wetherbee try out the drums. I asked Steve about his playing days and he said he hadn't played in years and didn't know where his keyboard was packed. Then later, he gets up and plays. He has a good poker face. Overall it was a fun night. I know it is tough when you are at the ends or in front of a speaker (been there) but they can’t do much changes unless they want less people there.

On Saturday, took the bus tour and had Rick Hauck as our tour guide. I really didn't know what to expect from him but was really surprised with his sense of humor, knowledge and easygoing nature. I can see why they gave him command of return to flight. The buses ran together pretty much so I also had a chance to talk to Fred Gregory and Hoot Gibson. It was worth the money! I did not do any of the book signings but they were well attended. Lovell's was out the door at times.

The Induction was fun and I liked it outside at the NASA Central. The speeches were first rate, funny and interesting. It was fun meeting up with cS members, getting a big packaged of an STS-119 poster board mailed up to me, walking around the center and having dinner at the revamped Shuttle's Sports bar (I like it).

Thanks to the ASF, cS, DNC and all others for a great fun time.


Posts: 509
From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 05-06-2009 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by astro-nut:
I am not sure if I will attend next year's induction program due to this one not being very good.
I'm really sorry you didn't have as good a time as you hoped, not to mention the bad experience at the gala. You should come to the next Spacefest. I promise it will be an amazing experience! (No pressure there, kim!)

New Member


posted 05-07-2009 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rockethobo62   Click Here to Email rockethobo62     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just wanted to join in and say although I didn't attend as many events as some, I had a wonderful time. I love seeing my BFF Tim and making some new ones. David thank you for everything and helping me find my credit card, it was a great weekend. I really liked the way the induction ceremony was set up. I like the astronauts walking up through the crowd instead of from the side. I thought the organization was a bit off but otherwise it was well done.

My granddaughter Hailey came with me for the first time and she now wants to be an astronaut. She was thrilled when Charlie Duke remembered her name the second time she went in to see him.

My highlight was Sen. Bill Nelson taking a picture with her and adding his name to my space shuttle model that has about 60 autographs on it. I will be back next year and hope to be able to attend the gala.


Posts: 134
From: Waterford, MI. USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 05-08-2009 09:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMacKinnon   Click Here to Email BMacKinnon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally, I get a chance to reflect on an awesome weekend in Florida.

For a space themed weekend, this could not be beaten! I arrived by plane on Wednesday the 29th where I was taken directly to a private tour of a local Space collector near KSC. He definitely defines George Carlin's comments about having a house and filling it with stuff. My wife could never be mad at me for if I went beyond one room to filling 4 rooms and the entire garage of Space related items, I'd probably be in divorce court. It was very kind that our new acquaintance shared part of his collection with us - his most unique item was an 8 foot segment of a Saturn V signed by multiple astronauts.

The next day we were taken on a personally guided tour of Cape Canaveral arranged by another cS connection. It was the most awesome tour of the Cape one could ever get! From a guided tour of the Air Force Space Museum and being able to stand on the pad where the first manned launch occurred to driving by unmanned launch pads that were active. Visiting all of the manned launch pads was a treat but then being able to walk around Pad 34 for as long as we wanted made my weekend. I hope some day that they will be able to display the Apollo 1 CM there!

But on to the AHOF Gala, a nice reception with the scholarship winners and corporate guests then a slight delay with bus departure waiting for the astronaut buses to get ahead of us did not put a damper on the evening's festivities. I had a bag full of photos to hopefully get one signature from each astronaut but they way the evening was structured, I was lucky to get the few that I did. But the evening was still very enjoyable, I was seated at a table with two couples that are serious rocket hobbyists, a very pleasant and Purdue educated ASF scholarship awardee and elderly couple that turned out to be the surprise of the night. He is a retired engineer from RCA that was involved in the design of the communication systems for Apollo and the Shuttle. His back story was even more interesting - he was originally from Poland, born before WWII. During the war his family was taken by the Russians to Siberia where he spent several years until the British were able to negotiate with the Russians, the release of the Polish citizens. They traveled to Africa where he enlisted in the Polish Army that was outfitted by the British. He fought in Italy and then after the war immigrated to England where he went to school and became an Engineer then immigrated to the US. So to me he was the celebrity at our table, the sad part was that I have forgotten his name. I was able to meet Gordon Fullerton and Bob Crippen and a few others but the winner of the Astronaut Class act for the night was John Blaha. He noticed that we did not have an astronaut at our table so between courses he came over to our table and made a point of introducing himself to everyone at our table. Thank you John for making the evening of all the guests at our table!

Finally the AHOF induction ceremony, I was able to get an aisle seat near the back where I was able to get awesome photos of each astronaut as they were introduced for the ceremony. I describe the event as a fun time as the three new enshrinees were introduced and then inducted. What a positive note to three fine careers! After the ceremony, I had the fortune of meeting and getting my photo with Jon McBride and then Senator Bill Nelson and his wife. They were kind enough to take a few minutes to greet several people and pose for photos before they were whisked off with the other astronauts. I had a bonus encounter and photo opportunity with the legendary NBC correspondent Jay Barbree - he was the icing on a perfect weekend.

Too many positives for the weekend that there is no need to dwell on the negatives.

I look forward to next year and I hope we can get more cS readers to attend. For the few that did attend it was great to see. My cS highlight was bragging to SpaceyChick that I had seen and been photographed with a capsule that she hadn't yet. But she still has me beat in manned capsule sightings. Till next year!

Rob Joyner

Posts: 1292
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 05-09-2009 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What another wonderful time at KSC last weekend was! And it is always better with a few fellow cSers there like '2 1/2 time tablemate' Garry, Bryan, Tim, David, Lisa and "Mr. Spaceychick", 'pond jumping' Martin and the Mrs., Brad 'Now you know who I am!', Steve, 'One of the best photogs' Ben, Larry, Barbara (still waiting for that first post!) and, of course, the reason you can read this - Robert.

I arrived at KSC last Friday in time to speak with Story Musgrave at the Space Shop. Amid everyone else wearing T-shirts and shorts I walked up in my dress clothes, coat hanging over my arm due to the heat, when Story slowly said, "You must be somebody." I laughed and explained that I was just a fan and would be going to the ASF Gala Dinner shortly. Story said he couldn't attend the AHOF weekend due to a prior out of town engagement the next day. I wished him a safe flight and he me a good weekend. This, I think, was my fifth time meeting Story. He is truly a remarkable person - a modern day Renaissance man.

I met my friend Barbara there about ten minutes later and Story signed one of his bio copies to one of her students who had won a recent science contest. And off to the Apollo/Saturn V Center we went.

Once there Barbara and I were able to get a few photos of launch pads A & B from in front of the smaller of the VIP bleachers located just outside the Apollo/Saturn V Center, and escorted by armed uniformed security. Too bad the RSS's obscured the view of the shuttles but that was expected. We were both grateful we got the photos at all because when we returned another person involved with security explained to our escort that no one else would be allowed outside through the east doors.

Barbara and I were seated at the now infamous Table #11 along with Larry and the Mrs., David and the Mrs. and three others. Lucky Garry was a whole table closer to the stage, (Table #12). Okay Garry, just who do you have to know to get a great table like that?!

Indeed, we were so far stage left at Table #11 that one even needed opera glasses to make out what was on the video screen on the opposite side of the stage! All was not lost though because there was a vacant table only a few feet away that had as much extra water, butter and bread as we wanted. Of course we could have taken the salads and salmon too, but why look like vultures, right?!

Actually our table afforded us a good view of the astronauts as they waited to be introduced, half the astronauts really because they entered from opposite ends of the red carpet. Wetherbee had friends at one of our neighboring tables and after speaking with them was kind enough to pose for photos and signed a couple of autographs too. I asked if he still played drums with any of his old Max Q bandmates. Wetherbee leaned closer, told me to look at the stage and whispered, "What does that look like?" nodding at the tarp-covered drum set at the rear of the stage. I replied with something like, "Ah haa!" He grinned, nodded and nothing else had to be said!

This was my eighth gala and I suppose each one had their ups and downs. I'm sure there will always be a few things that go wrong or don't meet one's expectations, especially those who are attending for the first time. Sometimes that 'first impression' is never forgotten and unfortunately can determine future attendance. Having 'been there and done that' a few times I can honestly say a certain 'autograph cop' was out of line not only in his approach but in his rude tone as well. Honestly, no one wants a complete stranger to suddenly grab their arm and blurt out commands all while looking as though a big bottle of constipation medicine should have been gulped down that morning with his oatmeal. Simple assault is no way to conduct yourself in such a venue, especially if you're on the clock. This Dirty Harry wannabe would have been better used to make sure there was water in the water glasses, but then again there has to be water glasses actually on the table to do that. He could have also been better used to make sure bread was on table and not brought out late.

I can understand Deputy Fife's actions if someone was acting like a dealer, getting multiple autographs at inopportune times and/or harassing the astronauts but that was not the case at all. I am absolutely 100% positive I have more respect for the astronauts than this guy has for his own mother. Since when does simply standing with a small folder under your arm, having not even approached anyone, no one at all, warrant being turned around by a sudden grab of your arm? I'm sure you can imagine what I was thinking and you'd be right. I suppose he's lucky being in a large coat & tie scenario keeps most people from acting out their thoughts. I'd like to know if this tool put his hand on anyone else. He wasn't wearing a uniform, but a dark suit & tie, had dark short hair, short in stature and I'm guessing in his late 50's/early 60's.

If you're a first timer to this dinner and a somewhat intelligent person you should already know which astronauts will and will not sign. I'm sure if I said that I'd give someone a flown item to get either Crippen's autograph or Aldrin's with only one shot to do so everyone here on cS would go directly to Crippen. That's why the learned people don't ask for autographs from certain individuals. Some will not sign and that should always be respected, and respected enough to know signing policies beforehand. Pleasant conversation and a photo is quite acceptable with those astronauts who don't sign and first timers will still walk away with big smiles on their faces. The hands-on Keystone Kop needs some schoolin'.

As was said earlier in this thread this event is not an autograph session and if you get a few autographs at the dinner you should feel fortunate and appreciative because none of the astronauts are ever required to sign at this function. Some do because they actually like to do it. They love talking with supporters of the ASF, AHOF & KSC and sometimes even about the item you'd like signed. After I waited for Bob Crippen to finish speaking with a friend we shook hands and HE asked me if I had anything I'd like for him to sign! Many astronauts have told me they enjoy the dinner as much as anyone can because that it is the only time of the year they get to mingle with their fellow astronauts and public ASF supporters.

I'm reminded of when I met Rick Hauck a few years ago at the dinner. The evening was winding down and he wasn't speaking with anyone. I introduced myself and after a short Q & A from him about where I'm from and such I asked for an autograph on his portrait photo I had brought. While he was signing I thanked him for all he's done for NASA and being there that night for the ASF. He looked up and said, "No. Thank you! Thank you for being here!" He said that it means a lot to have supporters make the time and spend their money in order to attend such events. That's what that night is really all about - to gain funds for future scholarships for those most deserving. The photos, the brief conversations and, yes, even the autographs are all just a perk. First timers should prepare themselves with as much information as possible before attending such a function. Veterans should already know what is acceptable. And rude-power-hungry-pseudo-detectives should just stay home because the one at last Friday's dinner has obviously caused at least a couple of first timers from donating to the ASF through future Gala Dinner ticket sales.

The evening continued with the introduction of this year's AHOF inductees and then with past ASF scholarship winners to the stage. The Omega watch raffle followed shortly. I wish I had video footage of Dick Gordon. Absolutely hilarious! cSer Leon Ford won the man's watch and he put it back up for auction. What a guy! I remember this happening with Jon McBride when he was my tablemate a couple of years ago. It seems Leon has the distinction of being the very first cS member! Congrats! Friday was also Scott Carpenter's 84th birthday!

And then it happened... the reunion of the century... the original Max Q band! Hoot Gibson on lead, Pinky Nelson on bass, Brewster Shaw on rhythm, Steve Hawley on keyboards and slammin' the skins was Jim Wetherbee. Hoot is credited having named the band and has said that like the Space Shuttle the band "makes lots of noise but no music!" Classic! Before their first song he warned that the lineup had not played together in 21 years! Among the songs played were a couple of Beatles tunes. 'Love Me Do' sounded great! Does anyone remember the songlist? Though I can't remember the winning bid Wetherbee's drum sticks were auctioned off after the entire band signed them!

Saturday began with meeting Barbara at the AHOFM to check out the new shuttle exhibit. Included are Crippen's flight suit and boots from STS-1, Scobee's blue 'TFNG' shirt, Brand's STS-35 rugby shirt, a flown galley, a flown overhead shuttle window and a mid-deck chair that flew aboard Columbia and Challenger. A visit to the museum would not be complete without a ride in the G-Force simulator. What a fun ride that really pushes you back into your comfy and padded seat! Just be sure not to eat anything before riding, though a big red stop button and barf bag are always at hand if you have a less than desirable flight!

Barbara and I had lunch at the remodeled Orbit Cafe which took over the old Mila's Restaurant area. The lines moved quickly and more seating has been provided. Barbara wanted to do a little shopping so I went to the IMAX theatre for another viewing of 'Magnificent Desolation' in 3D. I then went for my 13th ride on the Shuttle Launch Experience simulator - Pod #1, back row and all the way to the right - nice and bumpy!

I got out just in time to meet up with my fellow cSers for the group shot that is posted in the News & Events section. I hope this will be an annual event from now on. I then went to my car to get my video camera and proceeded to set it up on the right side of the seated audience. You can see me on the NASA footage as the astronauts are being introduced. I'm second from the left of the large white pillar with the IMAX building in the background though I have my still camera in front of my face in most shots!

After the ceremony I took some candid photos of the astronauts as they made their way to the Debus Room in the Early Space Exploration building. I wasn't able to stay for Sunday and arrived back home later Saturday night.

Photos with: Musgrave, Crippen, Fullerton and Richard Garriott.

Autographs: Musgrave, Crippen, Fullerton, Wetherbee, Shriver, McCulley, Cabana and Blaha.

To wrap this up I had a great weekend, as most others did. To those sincere first timers, and a few veterans, please disregard the inane actions of a single control freak. I hope you'll reconsider and return for the dinner next year. In fact I think it'd be a good idea for we cSers to get our own table next year. Who's up for that? To any astronauts reading - You are true heroes. It is a great honor to say hello and shake hands with those of you who are at KSC every first week of May. Your service to NASA, the ASF and our country is very much appreciated.

As of now I plan on returning to KSC on Monday for the launch of Atlantis... and please, let there be no rain in Spain!

Bob M

Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-11-2009 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob, thanks for taking time to provide the long and very interesting and informative account of your experiences at the AHoF gala and induction ceremonies for everyone.


Posts: 55
From: uk
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 05-13-2009 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for martinbiddulph   Click Here to Email martinbiddulph     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Arrived at KSCVC as the masses were leaving on the Friday early evening. Got a few funny looks as we were in our posh gear - think some thought we must be important! Ha! Ha! Ventured into the gift shop to find Story Musgrave doing a book signing; told him would love to have one but the queues were horrendous and we didn't have time. He said no problem, signed a book, and then told the nearest security chappy to get us to the front of the queue, which he did! So, there you are, we must have been important! Incidentally the book (The NASA Northrop T-38) is fantastic, has some really great photos, well worth getting if you can.

We then went off to the reception prior to being bussed over to Saturn V. The pre- and during-dinner procession of astronauts and their families was awesome. Got lots of opportunities for photos. Met my all time hero Buzz Aldrin and got a photo with him. For those of you who did not go, each table had a centrepiece - ours was Saturn V - which had been signed by an astronaut and all for sale. I bought ours which was signed by Al Worden. If only had some Sharpies with me I might have been able to get some other signatures on it too! A lesson learned for next year!

On Saturday we took the bus tour with an astronaut - ours was Walter Cunningham. Brilliant guy, really nice person. Funny thing was when we were at the observation station he was wandering around just like everyone else and no one knew who he was! Got his signature on the tour brochure. At the end of the tour we were given our voucher to collect the SIGNED Induction Poster when leaving. Later we met up as planned with collectSPACE enthusiasts and got our group photo and had a chat. After that we took our seats for the Induction Ceremony. Most of the astronauts from the previous evening were there and presented before the actual induction so another good opportunity for photos.

Waited in the shop for nearly an hour for an autograph from an astronaut whose name escapes me, but he never showed. Mmm!

On the Sunday, we spotted John Blaha and got his signature. The following Sunday (my birthday) we went again and spotted Jim Newman (who was being rushed through by a protective lady who would not let him sign for me). Marion detoured through the shop and caught him the other side and managed to persuade him! Later we listened to John Fabian's talk and then got a photo with him plus his signature too. So all in all a good day.

Managed to see Atlantis take off through a break in the clouds, from Florida Mall! Could not go further down as we had a plane to catch! Great weekend for the AHof. Great Birthday. Great Holiday. Great to meet those who were there. See you next year?

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