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Dean Acosta/Tia Over
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1400/1257)

November 7, 2005
NASA Honors Legendary Astronaut Walter Schirra
NASA is naming retired astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr., an Ambassador of Exploration. Schirra receives the award during a ceremony at 2 p.m. EST, Wednesday, November 16 at the San Diego Aerospace Museum.

NASA is presenting these prestigious awards to the 38 astronauts who took part in the nation’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs and for realizing America’s vision of space exploration from 1961 to 1972.

Schirra, a San Diego resident, carries the distinction of being the only man to fly in each of the three space programs. Award recipients help NASA communicate the benefits and excitement of space exploration, and they encourage the next generation of explorers.

In addition to receiving the Ambassador of Exploration Award, Schirra will be presented a moon rock to recognize the sacrifices and dedication of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts. The samples are part of the 842 pounds of moon rocks and soil returned during the six lunar expeditions. The moon rock will remain on display in the museum.

For access to the ceremony, media must contact: Ruth Varonfakis at: 858/273-0928; or

For San Diego museum information on the Web, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:


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