2009 Hall of Fame Logo

U.S. Space & Rocket Center® Announces 2009 Space Camp Hall of Fame Inductees

19 June 2009

HUNTSVILLE, AL – The U.S. Space & Rocket Center will induct three people into the Space Camp Hall of Fame during Reunion Weekend activities in July.

The newest class of inductees include:

The Space Camp Hall of Fame was created in 2007 to help mark the 25th anniversary of the Space Camp program and recognize the many accomplishments of Space Camp® and Aviation Challenge® graduates, former employees and those who have helped mold the program into the world’s premiere space-science based educational camp program.

This year’s program also includes a silent auction with the proceeds going to the USSRC’s Scholarship Fund, making it possible for some very deserving children to attend Space Camp each year.

The 2009 induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, July 11, beginning at 4:00 P.M. in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration’s 3D Theater. Dinner is scheduled to begin at 6:00 P.M. in the Saturn V Hall of the Davidson Center, followed by an after hours party featuring the music of Microwave Dave and the Nukes.

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2007 Space Camp Hall of Fame LogoTuesday, May 22, 2007

Eight to be Inducted into Space Camp Hall of Fame

HUNTSVILLE, AL -- The U.S. Space & Rocket Center proudly announces eight people, including famed rocket scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun and Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, one of America’s youngest astronauts, will be inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame on Wednesday, June 13th. The black tie optional event will take place in the Von Braun Center’s North Hall beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Award winning actor William Shatner will emcee the event, with special guests former NASA astronauts Story Musgrave and Jim Halsell.

Other members of the inaugural class of inductees include Edward O. Buckbee, Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen, Dan Oates, Amanda Stubblefield, Dr. James Rice, and Penny Pettigrew.

The Space Camp Hall of Fame was created to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Space Camp and designed to honor graduates, former employees and supporters who have distinguished themselves in their respective careers or made considerable in-kind contributions in an effort to help further the goals of the Space Camp program. Current plans call for as many as ten to be inducted annually.

Von Braun will be the first.

When the names are called and the nominees introduced, Dr. Wernher von Braun will be the first. Best known for his leading role in the development of America’s manned space flight program, von Braun also conceived the idea for Space Camp. In 1977, while touring the Space & Rocket Center, he shared, with former CEO Ed Buckbee, his vision of an educational camp program for children designed to help prepare the next generation of engineers, mathematicians and scientists.

Later that year, von Braun lost his battle with cancer. But the seed was planted that would sprout to life the world’s first educational space science camp program for children. Von Braun led the way to the moon, and today his vision continues to lead young people to reach for the stars.

One of those far-reaching youngsters attended Space Camp at the age of 14, and she would later describe the experience as life changing. The door was opened to a new world for Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger; a world so exciting, she chose a career path that would allow her to share her love of science with others. One day, a student in the high school astronomy class she taught asked a question that sent her to the NASA web site in search of an answer.

What she found was also life changing. NASA had just posted a call for teachers willing to enter the astronaut corps, and Dottie applied. She became the youngest member of the Educator Astronaut Candidate Class of 2004. Today, Dottie has completed her astronaut training and is awaiting flight assignment. She becomes the first Space Camp graduate inducted into the Hall of Fame.

No program could flourish as Space Camp has over the years without friends who believe in and support your efforts. Friends like Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen, an American by choice who followed Dr. von Braun from Peenemünde to Huntsville, and has spent the last 20 years of his retirement visiting Space Camp weekly to share his vast experience… And Dan Oates who, for the last 15 years, has surrendered his summers and much of his free time to bring to life a special Space Camp program for children who are blind. Under the category of Friend of Space Camp, both Oates and Dr. von Tiesenhausen become the first inductees.

Former Space Camp staff members to be inducted include Amanda Stubblefield and Dr. James Rice, both former camp counselors. Amanda went from training students at Space Camp to training astronauts at NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center. And Dr. Rice went to Mars! Well actually, he went to Arizona State University and to the Mars Rover Project. He’s a critical member of the team that sent the rovers Spirit and Opportunity to explore the surface of the red planet.

Our next inductee is another Space Camp grad with her feet planted firmly in the stars. Penny J. Pettigrew now works at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in the Ares I program, that will soon replace the shuttle and provide the vehicle that will help return humans to the moon and beyond.

Finally, the man who was here from day one… Who took von Braun’s vision and molded it into reality… the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s very first CEO, Ed Buckbee. When Ed came on-board, the Space & Rocket Center was only a good idea. Under his leadership, it became the biggest space science museum on the planet. It would be seven years after it opened before Buckbee’s close friend, in one of their final conversations, shared his dream of a summer camp program for children that would introduce them to the science of space flight.

Von Braun’s vision became Buckbee’s mission and five years later, the first group of children came to Huntsville to share in a unique experience. They would train as an astronaut, fly simulated missions in space, build and launch their own model rockets. They would be the first of a half-million. They, and Buckbee, launched Space Camp.

Buckbee guided the program through those first critical years and a quarter-century later, they’re still coming. In fact next month, during its 25th consecutive season, Space Camp will honor its 500,000th graduate!

The induction banquet will begin with a formal dinner, during which a 50-minute series of videos and news clips will be played over a pair of giant screen television monitors. These are stories and films once featured on local and national television programs and newscasts, many unseen in the last 25-30 years.

Following dinner, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center will unveil a new postal cache. The U.S. Postal Service will operate a temporary station at the Space & Rocket Center

2007 HOF - download PDF document version