Archive for Astronauts

Gus Grissom

Posted in Arlington National Cemetery with tags , , on August 23, 2021 by Cade

grissom1April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967

Virgil Ivan Grissom grew up in Indiana building model airplanes and dreaming of becoming a pilot. When he was in high school, World War II broke out, so Virgil – whose friends called him “Gus” – seized his chance to become a pilot and joined the Army Air Forces. Gus spent the war basically behind a desk…on the ground.

Six years later, the U.S. entered the Korean War and Gus re-enlisted in the newly rebranded Air Force; and this time, he earned his pilot wings. Grissom flew 100 missions in the conflict and made quite a name for himself as an airman. After the war, he became a test pilot and, in 1959, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration called Gus with a special offer.

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John Glenn

Posted in Arlington National Cemetery with tags , , on June 28, 2021 by Cade

July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016

As American heroes go, they don’t come much more American or heroic than John Glenn. As a Marine fighter pilot during World War II and the Korean War, Glenn was already well-decorated with military honors, but he became a household name in 1959 when he was named a member of the Mercury 7 – the United States’ first group of astronauts. In 1962, after backing up Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom on the first two manned Mercury missions (respectively), Glenn flew the Friendship 7 capsule into space on the project’s third mission and become the first man to orbit the Earth. Continue reading

Alan Shepard Jr.

Posted in Cremated with tags , , , on September 14, 2020 by Cade

November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998

Alan Shepard was an American Naval test pilot and astronaut. He was a member of the vaunted Mercury 7 – the first group of astronauts in the U.S. His most notable achievement was as the “first American in space.” His often-delayed May 1961 mission was somewhat eclipsed by the fact that the Soviet Union successfully sent one of their cosmonauts into space just three weeks earlier. Still, Shepard’s accomplishment was met with ticker tape parades and hero status. Continue reading

Dick Scobee

Posted in Arlington National Cemetery with tags , , on May 30, 2013 by Cade

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May 19, 1939 – January 28, 1986

Commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger on its ill-fated final mission, Francis Richard “Dick” Scobee was an Air Force pilot and astronaut. A combat pilot during the Vietnam war, Scobee became a test pilot and was eventually selected to be a part of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. He piloted Challenger on a successful mission – his only other – two years prior to the disaster. On January 28th, 1986, after a number of weather-related delays and under high pressure to get the shuttle into space to inaugurate the Teacher In Space program, Challenger finally lifted off. Continue reading

Christa McAuliffe

Posted in Calvary Cemetery (NH) with tags , , on May 16, 2013 by Cade

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September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986

Sometimes, fame doesn’t come until something truly awful happens.  In late 1985, people who paid attention to NASA’s space shuttle program knew who Sharon Christa McAuliffe was. The Concord, NH social studies teacher was the winner of the Teacher In Space Project.  The goal of the project was simple: train a teacher to travel with the space shuttle Challenger on a mission, conduct some experiments and teach lessons from orbit. Continue reading