Today there are approximately 500 people on Earth who have been in the astronaut business, with approximately 300 of those being Americans.
I’m particularly honored to have interviewed and/or met over 30 space travelers (including cosmonauts) over the years.
Almost 100 of the American astronauts have been inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. For this particular honor, it’s not enough to travel to space – candidates must also qualify for induction based on specific criteria.
Created by the Mercury Seven astronauts, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® inductees are selected by special committee of former NASA officials, flight directors, historians, journalists and other Hall of Fame astronauts. The process to induct selected candidates is administered by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
Committee members vote for 5 candidates by awarding 1 to 5 points for each with the most points designated for their top choice.
Eligibility is based on many factors, including U.S. citizenship and NASA training as a pilot, commander or mission specialist who orbited the Earth at least once.
Timing is determined by an astronaut’s first flight: 17 years must have passed since the candidate’s first trip to space.
Candidates’ individual contributions to the American space program may also factor into the decision.
Each year, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is hosted at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Though the venue may vary, the pomp and circumstance consistently honors the inductees as they join the ranks of the astronaut elite. In addition to the newly inducted, many other Hall of Fame astronauts join the ceremony to welcome their peers.
Categories: Wisdom and Cleverness