Tickets Now on Sale for 2003 Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction, June 20-21 Sally Ride Among Inductees

    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
      -- 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 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
     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
     Biographies of the inductees are available online at
     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.
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SOURCE Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

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