Astronauts

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Many men throughout history have been members of our fraternity.

In these pages we will present you with them and try to impress upon you the great men that have been Masons.

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Astronauts

 

The first U.S. astronauts were selected in 1959, before human spaceflight operations began. NASA asked the military services to provide a list of personnel who met specific qualifications. After stringent screening, NASA announced its selection of seven men, all pilots, as the first American astronauts. NASA has selected 20 more groups of astronauts since the “Original Seven.” The backgrounds of NASA’s latest group of Astronaut Candidates include schoolteachers, doctors, scientist, and engineers.

NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen for the intensive Astronaut Candidate training program. Including the “Original Seven”, only 330 astronauts have been selected to date.

The astronauts of the 21st century will continue to work aboard the International Space Station in cooperation with our international partners; help to build and fly a new NASA vehicle, the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) designed for human deep space exploration; and further NASA’s efforts to partner with industry to provide a commercial capability for space transportation to the space station.

The Orion MPCV draws from more than 50 years of spaceflight experience and is designed to meet the evolving needs of our nation’s future human space exploration program. Orion features dozens of technology advancements and innovations that have been incorporated into the spacecraft’s subsystem and component design and includes both crew and service modules, a spacecraft adaptor, and a revolutionary launch abort system that will significantly increase crew safety. Its life support, propulsion, thermal protection and avionics systems, in combination with other deep space elements, will enable extended duration deep space missions. These systems have been developed to make possible the integration of new technical innovations as they become available.

Orion will be capable of carrying astronauts on diverse expeditions beyond Earth’s orbit –ushering in a new era of human space exploration.

NASA is in the process of identifying possible near-Earth asteroids to explore with the goal of visiting an asteroid in 2025. With that goal, and keeping in mind that the plan is to send a robotic precursor mission to the asteroid approximately five years before humans arrive, NASA will need to select the first set of targets to explore within the next decade.

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T V W Y Z
Photo of Buzz Aldrin Buzz Aldrin Astronaut

American engineer and former astronaut, and the second person to walk on the Moon. He was the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing in history. He set foot on the Moon at 03:15:16 (UTC) on July 21, 1969, following mission commander Neil Armstrong. He is also a former U.S. Air Force officer and a Command Pilot.

Photo of Neil Armstrong Neil Armstrong Astronaut

American astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon. He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor. Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was an officer in the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean War. After the war, he earned his bachelor?s degree at Purdue University and served as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station, now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he logged over 900 flights.…

Photo of Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr. Leroy Cooper, Jr. Astronaut

(Col, USAF), better known as Gordon Cooper, was an American aerospace engineer, test pilot, United States Air Force pilot, and one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space program of the United States. Cooper piloted the longest and final Mercury spaceflight in 1963. He was the first American to sleep in space during that 34-hour mission and was the last American to be launched alone to conduct an entirely solo orbital mission.…

Photo of Donn F Eisele Donn Eisele Astronaut

(Col, USAF), was an United States Air Force officer, test pilot, and later a NASA astronaut. He occupied the Command Module Pilot seat during the flight of Apollo 7 in 1968. After retiring from both NASA and the Air Force, he became the Peace Corps country director for Thailand, before moving into private business.

Photo of John H Glenn Jr. John Glenn Jr. Astronaut

(Col, USMC, Ret.), is a former U.S. Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut and United States senator. He was selected as one of the ?Mercury seven? group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America?s first astronauts and fly the Project Mercury spacecraft. On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space, after cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov and the sub-orbital flights of Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom.…

Photo of Virgil Gus Grissom Virgil Grissom Astronaut

(Lt Col, USAF), better known as Gus Grissom, was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts, test pilot, mechanical engineer, and a United States Air Force pilot. He was the second American to fly in space, and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice. Grissom was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (then known as Cape Kennedy), Florida.…

Photo of Fred Wallace Haise, Jr. Fred Haise, Jr. Astronaut

American aeronautical engineer, former test pilot, and NASA astronaut. He is one of only 24 humans to have flown to the Moon, as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 13. He was to have been the sixth human to land and walk on the Moon, but the mission had to be aborted due to a spacecraft failure.…

Photo of Edgar D Mitchell Edgar Mitchell Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 14

(Capt, USN, Ret.), is an American former naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, and NASA astronaut. As the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 14, he spent nine hours working on the lunar surface in the Fra Mauro Highlands region, making him the sixth person to walk on the Moon.

Photo of Walter Marty Schirra, Jr. Walter Schirra, Jr. Astronaut

American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, America’s first effort to put humans in space. He flew the six-orbit, nine-hour Mercury-Atlas 8 mission on October 3, 1962, becoming the fifth American, and the ninth human, to ride a rocket into space. In the two-man Gemini program, he achieved the first space rendezvous, station-keeping his Gemini 6A spacecraft within 1 foot (30 cm) of the sister Gemini 7 spacecraft in December 1965.…

Photo of Thomas Patten Stafford Thomas Stafford Astronaunt

Lt Gen, USAF, Ret. is an American former Air Force officer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. He flew aboard two Gemini space flights; and in 1969 was the Commander of Apollo 10, the second manned mission to orbit the Moon and the first to fly a Lunar Module there. In 1975, Stafford was Commander of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project flight, the first joint U.S.-Soviet space mission.…

Photo of Paul Joseph Weitz Paul Weitz Astronaut

Retired American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and former NASA astronaut, who flew into space twice. He was a member of the three-man crew who flew on Skylab 2, the first manned Skylab mission. He was also Commander of the STS-6 mission, the first of the Space Shuttle Challenger flights.

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