It’s amazing to think that U.S. Airmen have been involved in the nation’s space program since the first American astronauts were selected in 1959. From Buzz Aldrin to Eileen Collins, the Air Force has a long history of developing quality candidates who have excelled in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Astronaut Program. Here’s an informative graphic outlining some of the requirements to be selected for NASA’s astronaut program.
By Staff Sgt. Antonio Gonzalez
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
Did you know our astronaut in space, Air Force Col. Terry Virts, has a Twitter account? If you’re not following him yet, don’t fret because we’ve compiled some of our favorite tweets from him while aboard the International Space Station.
By Bo Joyner
Headquarters, Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs
What’s your story? Brig. Gen. Richard Scobee likes to ask this question to every Airman he meets, and he encourages others to do the same.
“The next time you see an Airman, ask what his or her story is,” Scobee said. “I guarantee you will come away inspired and impressed.”
Scobee, commander of 10th Air Force at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, has an inspiring story of his own to tell. He’s the son of astronaut Dick Scobee who commanded the Space Shuttle Challenger that was destroyed after takeoff in 1986.
By 1st Lt Trisha Eldrege, Public Affairs Officer
45th Space Wing
The Air Force supports NASA’s Space Shuttle program from when the shuttle is on the ground until it leaves the launchpad. The 45th Space Wing provides NASA with launch weather forecasts, launch and range operations, and safety and public affairs support. Lt Eldrege was the media spokesperson for the 45th Space Wing at today’s Discovery launch from Kennedy Space Center (KSC). She shares her experiences from KSC’s press site as she eagerly awaits the countdown.
I’m at KSC’s press site, and we’re only about 15 minutes from today’s Discovery launch. I’ve worked a dozen or so launches, and it never gets old. It’s always AMAZING! I’m surrounded by about 300 media. So far, no weather problems, so the AF weather officer sitting next to me isn’t the focus of their attention. I’m looking at the countdown clock, and the shuttle is on the pad, only 3 or so miles away. People have come from all over the world to watch this launch, and the Cape coastline is packed – very fun and festive. I can’t believe I get paid to do this job. Go Discovery!
PHOTO: NASA’s Shuttle Discovery sits on the launchpad ready to go. Photo courtesy NASA.