Astronauts: December 2017 Archives

Bruce McCandless

Astronaut Bruce McCandless II Dies at 80

"Former NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless II, mission specialist on the STS-41B and STS-31 missions, died Dec. 21, 2017, at the age of 80. McCandless is perhaps best remembered as the subject of a famous NASA photograph flying alongside the space shuttle in the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) - the first astronaut to fly untethered from his spacecraft. His time as an astronaut encompassed much more than that mission, including serving as the mission-control communicator for Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's moonwalk on the Apollo 11 mission."

Keith's note: Last week President Trump signed the H.R.2810 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 into law. Included in this legislation is a provision that calls for a memorial to the crew of Apollo 1 at Arlington National Cemetery:

"SEC. 1087. CONSTRUCTION OF MEMORIAL TO THE CREW OF THE APOLLO I LAUNCH TEST ACCIDENT AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.
Subject to applicable requirements of section 2409(b)(2)(E) of title 38, United States Code, the Secretary of the Army, in consultation with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery, shall authorize the construction, at an appropriate place in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, of a memorial marker honoring the three members of the crew of the Apollo I who died during a launch rehearsal test on January 27, 1967, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The memorial may not be constructed in a location that is otherwise suitable as an interment site."

An effort to get this memorial established has been underway for a number of years here in the Washington, DC aerospace community led by primarily folks at the Aerospace Industries Association with the assistance of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Exactly what the memorial will look like or where it will be placed has not been decided but the preference of the space community in Washington is to put the Apollo 1 memorial next to the memorials for the crews of Columbia and Challenger with a marker of a similar size and design. There will likely be a public fundraising effort for this memorial. Details to follow.


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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronauts category from December 2017.

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