KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 20 and 21, 2003, space fans from across America are invited to witness the induction of three Space Shuttle astronauts -- including two veteran commanders and the first American space woman -- into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. In one of the largest gatherings of astronauts to date, Daniel Brandenstein, Robert "Hoot" Gibson and Sally Ride will be inducted June 21 in a ceremony at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, joining other inductees from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Weekend tickets are now available to the general public and include: -- A ribbon cutting ceremony with 20 current Astronaut Hall of Fame astronauts to officially open the Hall of Fame as part of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Friday, June 20 at 4:00 p.m.; -- Choice of one of two "Dine With an Astronaut" programs Saturday, June 21 -- an "Apollo Brunch" with Apollo Astronauts Eugene Cernan, Walter Cunningham, and Ed Mitchell at 10:00 a.m.; OR a "Right Stuff Luncheon" with Mercury Astronauts Scott Carpenter and Gordon Cooper at 12:30 p.m.; -- Reserved seating at the Astronaut Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Shuttle Plaza Saturday, June 21 at 3:00 p.m., hosted by Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell; -- Three-day Maximum Access Admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Astronaut Hall of Fame, valid June 20-22, 2003; and -- A commemorative poster featuring all of the members of the Astronaut Hall of Fame. In addition to the three inductees, astronauts currently scheduled to attend the induction festivities include Buzz Aldrin, Scott Carpenter, Gene Cernan, Gordon Cooper, Bob Crippen, Walter Cunningham, Fred Haise, Edward Gibson, Owen Garriott, John Glenn, Dick Gordon, Rick Hauck, James Lovell, James McDivitt, Ed Mitchell, Richard Truly, Al Worden, and John Young. (Please note that autograph sessions with the astronauts will not be available during the induction weekend.) Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Weekend tickets are $59.45 + tax for adults and $39.45 + tax for children 3-11, and are available online at www.kennedyspacecenter.com or by calling (321) 449-4444. A limited number of hotel packages are also available. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open daily from 9 a.m. to approximately dusk, except December 25 and certain launch days. Maximum Access Admission includes all exhibits, Astronaut Encounter, IMAX(R) space films, the KSC Tour of restricted areas, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame, featuring historic spacecrafts, simulator rides, and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut mementos. Maximum Access Admission is $33 + tax for adults and $23 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com. NOTE TO MEDIA: Accredited news media interested in covering the induction events must make advance arrangements. Please fax your request on company letterhead to Susan Burrell, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, at (321) 452-3043 to arrange access to the events. Please specify which induction events you would like to attend. Tickets to be seated for the Apollo Brunch and Right Stuff Luncheon are available at the prices noted above. Please call (321) 449-4444 to reserve seats. Biographies of the inductees are available online at http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/. About the Inductees: Astronaut Dan Brandenstein piloted one shuttle mission and commanded three others, including the first flight of Endeavour, and later served as chief of the Astronaut Office. Robert "Hoot" Gibson commanded four of the five shuttle missions on which he flew, including the first docking of a shuttle with Russia's Mir space station. On the seventh shuttle mission in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space. Working with four other astronauts, she helped deploy two communications satellites and conducted science experiments. Sixteen months later, she was back in space with six others on an Earth studies mission. About the Astronaut Hall of Fame: In the 1980s the six surviving Mercury Seven astronauts conceived of a place where space travelers could be remembered -- much like baseball players and other sports figures. Their dream was realized in 1990 when the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame opened in Titusville, Fla. Located adjacent to Kennedy Space Center, the Astronaut Hall of Fame is now an official part of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. When inducted on June 21, Brandenstein, Gibson and Ride will join 48 other astronauts who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame since 1990, with the Mercury Seven astronauts the first to be honored. Other honorees have come from the ranks of the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz projects. The first shuttle fliers, inducted in November 2001, were Bob Crippen, Joe Engle, Rick Hauck and Dick Truly. June 21 will mark the second shuttle induction. About the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and Delaware North Parks Services of Spaceport, Inc.: Established in 1984 by the six surviving original Mercury Seven astronauts; Mrs. Betty Grissom, widow of Virgil (Gus) Grissom; and other participants, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) awards 17 scholarships annually to upper level college students and those pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. The foundation also supervises the selection, by an outside committee, of astronauts for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. The foundation operates under an agreement with Delaware North Parks Services of Spaceport, Inc., contracted by NASA to operate Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The partnership provides for the retention of the world's largest collection of astronaut artifacts at the Hall of Fame; appearances by astronauts at special events; and the continuation of the annual Astronaut Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The ASF serves as a consultant in the operation of the Astronaut Hall of Fame to help tell the history of human space flight. Delaware North, in turn, contributes generously to the ASF's scholarship program. Delaware North Parks and Resorts, a subsidiary of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Delaware North Companies, Inc., is a leading hospitality provider specializing in hotel, retail, foodservice, recreation and transportation operations. The company's portfolio includes Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon national parks; Niagara Falls State Park; and the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia and Denver. To receive our press releases electronically, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex