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Flight Plans Newsletter

NASA Astronaut Remembrance Weekend at The Museum of Flight

Date: 
01/31/2009

In conjunction with NASA's Day of Remembrance and the Museum's exhibit The Berlin Airlift-A Legacy of Friendship, the President and CEO of The Museum of Flight and retired NASA Astronaut, Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar will present a special program at the Museum on Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. The lecture is part of "NASA Astronaut Remembrance Weekend" at the Museum. For two days the Museum remembers the fallen astronauts of Apollo 1 and space shuttles STS-51-L Challenger and STS-107 Columbia during the anniversary of the tragedies. The lecture is free with admission to the Museum.
 
Remembrance exhibits include the display of the panels highlighting the lives of each of the 17 astronauts. Museum exhibits feature former Washington state residents Columbia Pilot Willie McCool, Columbia Payload Commander Michael Anderson and Challenger Commander Dick Scobee.
 
After the Challenger disaster the crew members' families established innovative educational facilities called Challenger Learning Centers. The Museum is home to the fifth Center built out of a growing network of 50 Centers internationally.   
 
On Oct. 30, 1985, the space shuttle Challenger launched from the Kennedy Space Center. STS-61A was also known as "Deutchland Einz" (or D-1). It was a "first" in several ways: the first and only flight with eight crew members to launch and return on the same flight; the first flight fully sponsored by West Germany; the first flight with two West German Astronauts; and the first space flight for Mission Specialist One, Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar. Dunbar trained in Germany for seven months of the 18 month pre-flight training period. The 7-day flight included more than 100 scientific experiments in microgravity physics, human physiology, biology, and chemistry aboard the European Space Agency-developed Spacelab. 

The international crew included five American astronauts, two West German astronauts--Dr. Ernst Messerschmid and Dr. Reinhard Furrer and Dutch Astronaut, Wubbo Ockels. In addition to Dunbar the American astronauts were Air Force pilots Hank Hartsfield and Steve Nagel, Marine Corps Mission Specialist Jim Buchli and the first African American Astronaut, Dr. Guy Bluford, on his second space flight as Mission Specialist.
 
Dunbar is currently President and CEO of the Museum of Flight. She assumed these responsibilities following a career in industry and government that included 27 years with NASA. At NASA she was a Skylab and Space Shuttle Flight Controller, an astronaut on five space shuttle flights, and was in the Senior Executive Service for seven years. She is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dunbar is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Aeronautical Society. She also was elected to the National Academy of Engineers.

Bank of America Weekend Family Workshop: Badge of Honor: Remembering the Crews of Apollo 1, STS-51-L Challenger and STS-107 Columbia
Saturday, Jan. 31 and Sunday, Feb. 1 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
These family activities help all ages learn about the history of space mission patches. Participants can then make their own space mission button honoring the American astronauts who have given their lives to advance the progress of space travel.