MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Two veteran astronauts will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Roy Bridges and Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) will be inducted during a ceremony “beneath the awe-inspiring space shuttle Atlantis,” according to a news release.
Bridges and Kelly are part of the 24th class of astronauts to be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of inductees to 107.
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Several veteran astronauts are scheduled to attend the ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday. The event is included with the price of admission to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Kelly was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and the first of his four trips into space were as pilot of Space Shuttle mission STS-108 in December 2001, where he helped deliver equipment, supplies and additional crew members to the ISS. He also served as pilot of STS-121 aboard Discovery, the second “Return to Flight” mission following the loss of Columbia in February 2003. Kelly retired from NASA in 2011 after commanding space shuttle Endeavour on its final flight, STS-134.
Kelly’s identical twin brother, Scott, was inducted into the Hall of Fame with the class of 2020, marking the first pair of siblings and the first set of identical twins to both hold a place in the esteemed group.
Bridges, meanwhile, flew 4,460 hours as a pilot, test pilot and astronaut in a variety of aircraft, including the F-100, F-104, YA/A-10, A-37, OV-99 (Space Shuttle Challenger), C-11, F-15, T-37, and T-38.
He served as director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center from 1997-2003. The retired U.S. Air Force Major General piloted the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51F in July 1985.
“This year’s class is another example of excellence from our space program,” said Curt Brown, board chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. “The Hall of Fame has inducted 105 individuals with this honor; this year’s nominees are perfect examples of the accomplished individuals who are inducted each year. Both Kelly and Bridges represent the committed spirit of exploration, bravery and teamwork that make our space program a continued success. We are proud and honored to have them join the ranks of the space pioneers recognized in the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.”
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