NASA veteran astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pamela Melroy and Scott Kelly inducted into the American Astronaut Hall of Fame® at the Kennedy Space Center

NASA veteran astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pamela Melroy and Scott Kelly inducted into the American Astronaut Hall of Fame® at the Kennedy Space Center

Press Release From: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center
Posted: Monday November 15 2021

Veteran NASA astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, vice president of business development for Axiom Space, Pamela Melroy, NASA deputy administrator, and Scott Kelly were inducted today into the prestigious United States Astronaut Hall of Fame. United – marking the 19th class of award winners to join this esteemed society.

The ceremony took place at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, under the iconic space shuttle Atlantis. Lopez-Alegria, Melroy and Kelly were honored for their outstanding achievements in the pursuit of NASA’s mission of exploration and discovery. Their induction brings the total number of astronauts in the US Astronaut Hall of Fame to 102.

The official astronaut welcoming speech to the American Astronaut Hall of Fame was Veteran Astronaut and Hall of Fame 2016 Inductee Brian Duffy, Veteran Astronaut Susan Helms, Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator Robert Cabana , Associate Director, NASA, Curt Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and Therrin Protze, Chief Operating Officer of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. More than 15 fellow veteran astronauts attended the ceremony which was delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic, including Charlie Bolden, Eileen Collins and John Grunsfeld among others. Many of the astronauts in attendance were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“With the return of crewed missions to space – and the promise of more on the horizon – it is important to recognize those who paved the way for the new era of space exploration,” Protze said. , before the induction ceremony. “Without the dedication and commitment of pioneers like Cap. Lopez-Alegria, Colonel Melroy and Captain Kelly, we would not be on the precipice of this new phase of discovery.

Lopez-Alegria, Melroy, and Kelly all have distinguished careers, centered around their love of space and science:

Captain Michael E. Lopez-Alegria, STS-73, STS-92, STS-113, Expedition 14

Michael E. Lopez-Alegria has over 35 years of aviation and space experience with the US Navy and NASA in a variety of roles including naval aviator, engineering test pilot and manager NASA program and astronaut.

He has completed four NASA space flights, including the STS-73, STS-92 and STS-113 space shuttle missions, and was the commander of ISS Expedition 14 (flying to and from the ISS aboard the Soyuz TMA-9). He holds NASA records for most extravehicular activity (EVA) (aka spacewalks) – 10, as well as a cumulative EVA time of 67 hours and 40 minutes.

Lopez-Alegria is the former president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, where he served as a spokesperson, thought leader, and advocate to the U.S. Congress and relevant executive agencies, and has advocated for pro-public policy name of the commercial spaceflight industry. Currently, he is an independent consultant to traditional and commercial space companies and sits on several advisory boards and committees of public and private institutions, including the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council and the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee of the FAA. . Lopez-Alegria is Chairman of ASTM’s International Committee on Commercial Space Flight and former Chairman of the Association of Space Explorers, an international professional and educational organization of current and former astronauts.

Colonel Pamela A. Melroy, STS-92, STS-112, STS-120

Pamela A. Melroy was sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator on June 21, 2021. As Deputy Administrator, Melroy performs the duties and exercises the powers delegated by the administrator, while assisting in final decisions of the ‘agency. In the absence of the Administrator, Melroy is responsible for performing all functions necessary to govern the operations of NASA.

Longtime aerospace executive with government and industry background – in civil, commercial and national security space – Melroy is also a retired Air Force test pilot and former NASA astronaut and commander of the space shuttle.

She has logged over 6,000 flight hours in over 50 different aircraft and was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in March 1995. She flew three space missions: as a space shuttle pilot during STS- 92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002, and as Space Shuttle Commander during STS-120 in 2007. All three missions were assembly missions to build the International Space Station. She is one of only two women to command the space shuttle and has spent more than 38 days in space. Melroy has held various positions within the Office of Astronauts including Astronaut Launch and Landing Support, CAPCOM, Crew Module Manager for the Columbia Reconstruction Team and as Deputy Project Manager for the Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Team.

Melroy retired from the Air Force in 2007 and left NASA in August 2009 – before returning to the agency earlier this year. Following her initial role at NASA, she served as Deputy Program Manager for the Lockheed Martin Orion Space Exploration Initiatives Program and Director of Field Operations and Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration. She then served as Deputy Director of the Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where she executed a broad portfolio of air and space technology development.

Captain Scott Kelly, STS-103, STS-118, Expedition 25/26, Expedition 43/44/45/46

Scott Kelly is a retired American astronaut and captain of the United States Navy, United States space flight record holder and experienced test pilot having accumulated more than 15,000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft and spacecraft. A former fighter pilot, Kelly flew the F-14 Tomcat aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Kelly was selected by NASA as an astronaut in 1996. A veteran of four space flights, he piloted the Space Shuttle Discovery to the Hubble Space Telescope in 1999 and subsequently commanded the Space Shuttle Endeavor on a mission to the International Space Station in 2007. His long-duration space flight experience includes two flights on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, launch and landing from Kazakhstan and two stays aboard the International Space Station as commander , the first a 159-day mission in 2010-2011 followed by its record 340-day mission to the ISS in 2015. During its one-year mission, known worldwide as “the year in space ”, he did three spacewalks before returning home in March 2016. Kelly has traveled over 200 million miles, more than double the distance traveled by Soleil and has done more than 8 300 times around the Earth. Kelly has received numerous awards and honors, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He made the cover of TIME magazine in December 2014 and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2015. Kelly was also recognized in the 2015 State of the Union Speech by the President of the States -United, Barrack Obama.

Kelly is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a member of the Association of Space Explorers. Kelly was named Champion for Space by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. As a champion of space, Kelly helps to publicize the activities of UNOOSA.

He is a much sought-after speaker who embodies leadership while testing the limits of the human spirit and endurance. In 2016, he published a New York Times Endurance bestseller and children’s picture book with Alfred A. Knopf of Penguin Random House LLC about his extraordinary career and life from humble beginnings. Most recently, he published Infinite Wonder – a collection of extraordinary images he photographed aboard the ISS, also a New York Times bestseller.

Kelly is married to Amiko (née Kauderer) a former NASA public affairs officer and has two children, Samantha and Charlie from a previous marriage. His identical twin brother, Mark, is also a former NASA astronaut.

The American Astronaut Hall of Fame was run over 30 years ago by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. In November 2016, a new American Astronaut Hall of Fame opened at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex , as part of the Heroes & Legends attraction.

Due to the delayed induction in 2020, there will be no 2021 inductee class.

American Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Process and Eligibility

Each year, inductees are selected by a committee of Hall of Fame astronauts, former NASA officials, flight directors, historians and journalists. The process is administered by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. To be eligible, an astronaut must have made their first flight at least 17 years prior to induction. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and a NASA-trained commander, pilot, or mission specialist who has orbited at least one earth.

About the Kennedy Space Center Reception Complex

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings the epic history of the US space program to life, offering a full day or more fun, inspiring and educational activities. Currently open with limited capacity due to COVID-19, are included in the Heroes & Legends Admission, featuring the US Astronaut Hall of Fame®, presented by Boeing, Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted , space movies, the Rocket Garden, the all-new Planet Play, and the Apollo / Saturn V Center. Just 45 minutes from Orlando, Florida, the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $ 57 + taxes for adults and $ 47 + taxes for children aged 3 to 11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit

Twitter: @ExploreSpaceKSC

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