CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – In recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments in furthering NASA's mission of exploration and discovery, veteran astronauts Brian Duffy and Scott Parazynski have been selected for induction into the elite United States Astronaut Hall of Fame®. The announcement was made today at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex by Dan Brandenstein, Hall of Fame astronaut and board chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which oversees the induction selection process.
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Duffy and Parazynski will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex beginning with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Gala on the evening of May 13 and culminating with a public ceremony on May 14 at 2 p.m. that will be attended by a roster of astronaut legends.
Both Duffy and Parazynski make up the 15th group of space shuttle astronauts to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and both flew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is now located at the visitor complex and will be the site of the induction ceremony in May. Adding the two veteran astronauts to the Hall of Fame will bring the total number of astronauts inducted to 93.
"These men embody the courage, sacrifice and long-held commitment to furthering space exploration that is at the heart of the NASA mission," said Brandenstein. "I am truly honored to name them as the newest inductees into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame."
Duffy is a veteran Air Force pilot, astronaut and aerospace industry executive. He is a veteran of four space shuttle flights, including STS-92, which opened the door to construction of the International Space Station.
A medical doctor and pilot, Parazynski is a veteran of five space shuttle missions. He flew alongside legendary astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn and is credited with performing a critical, unrehearsed spacewalk to repair a space station solar array.
The U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame was spearheaded by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, an organization created more than 30 years ago by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts, with the goal of helping university students pursue their dreams in science, technology, engineering and math. Since that time, the foundation has awarded more than $4 million in merit-based scholarships to more than 400 brilliant students.
The Foundation's legacy will continue this fall when a new Astronaut Hall of Fame opens at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, as part of the new Heroes and Legends attraction. Heroes and Legends will not only bring to life the enthralling stories of America's pioneering astronauts, but also invite guests to vicariously experience the thrills and dangers of America's earliest missions through high-tech elements and special effects, including simulated holograms and augmented reality. Inside the new U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, guests can use interactive features to learn more about nearly 100 astronaut heroes.
The highlight of Heroes and Legends is a 3-D omnidirectional theater, designed to make guests feel as though they are floating in the vastness of space. Stunning images will envelope them as legendary astronauts, including Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Jim Lovell and Neil Armstrong, invite them to join in their epic journeys into the vast unknown.
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Process and Eligibility
Each year, inductees are selected by a committee of Hall of Fame astronauts, former NASA officials, flight directors, historians and journalists. The process is administered by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. To be eligible, an astronaut must have made his or her first flight at least 17 years before their induction. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen and a NASA-trained commander, pilot or mission specialist who has orbited the earth at least once.
About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, Shuttle Launch Experience®, IMAX® Hubble 3D and Journey To Space films, Astronaut Encounter, Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted, Rocket Garden and many other interactive exhibits. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
SOURCE Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex