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July 17, 2002

Release: 02-42

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Former NASA astronaut C. Gordon Fullerton will be the guest of honor and throw the first pitch this Saturday, July 20, as the Lancaster JetHawks baseball team commemorates the 33rd anniversary of the first landing on the moon.

Fullerton, now a research pilot at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, flew on two space shuttle missions in the 1980s, co-piloted two approach and landing tests of the prototype shuttle orbiter Enterprise, and served on the support crew for the last four Apollo moon landing missions.

The "Walk on the Moon" tribute anniversary game will commemorate the landing of the lunar module Eagle by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.

The JetHawks will be taking on the Visalia Oaks for the 7:15 p.m. California League contest at the Lancaster Municipal Stadium, also known as "The Hangar." Tickets for this game are available by calling the JetHawks ticket office at (661) 726-5400 or by visiting the team’s website at

A retired U.S. Air Force colonel, Fullerton has amassed more than 15,000 flight hours in more than 135 different types of aircraft during his career. As an astronaut, Fullerton served on the support crews for the Apollo 14, 15, 16, and 17 lunar missions. In 1977, Fullerton was on one of two crews that piloted the Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise during the Approach and Landing Test Program at NASA Dryden. Fullerton was the pilot on the STS-3 Space Shuttle orbital flight test mission in 1982, and commanded the STS-51F Spacelab 2 mission in 1985. He has logged 382 hours in space flight.

Since transferring to Dryden in 1986, Fullerton’s assignments have included a variety of flight research and support activities piloting NASA's B-52 launch aircraft, the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and other multi-engine and high performance aircraft. He flew a series of development air launches of the X-38 prototype Crew Return Vehicle and the first launch of the X-43A Hyper-X vehicle.

Fullerton also flies Dryden’s DC-8 Airborne Science aircraft in support of atmospheric physics, ground mapping and meteorology studies. He also was project pilot on the Propulsion Controlled Aircraft program, during which he successfully landed a modified F-15 fighter and an MD-11 transport with all control surfaces neutralized, using only engine thrust adjustments for control. Fullerton also evaluated the flying qualities of the Russian Tu-144 supersonic transport during two flights in 1998, one of only two non-Russian pilots to fly that aircraft.

Fullerton will be available to sign autographs during the evening in a NASA Dryden exhibit inside the baseball stadium.


Note to Editors: A current photo of NASA research pilot Gordon Fullerton is available on the Dryden Internet web site at /centers/dfrc/gallery/photo/Pilots/HTML/EC02-0102-1.html

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