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Todd Halvorson, a former journalist with Florida Today/USA Today, photographed in front of one of the space shuttles at Kennedy.

Todd Halvorson

Journalist, Florida Today/USA Today

Ask Todd Halvorson and he’ll tell you that covering the space program “is the best job in journalism.” After all, it afforded him the opportunity to chronicle 108 space shuttle missions from the Return to Flight after the January 1986 Challenger accident through the end of the shuttle program in July 2011.

Halvorson also covered the long-and-storied saga of the Hubble Space Telescope, from its April 1990 launch and the discovery of its misshapen primary mirror through the orbital repair of the observatory and four servicing missions; and the resurgence of U.S. robotic exploration of Mars, from the launch in 1997 of Mars Pathfinder – and the ill-fated flights of Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander – to the missions of Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, the Phoenix lander and the Curiosity rover.

His coverage of humans in space included the Shuttle-Mir program, which encompassed 10 flights to the Russian space station Mir, including an initial rendezvous then nine visits and seven U.S. astronaut stays aboard it; the assembly of the International Space Station (ISS), which spanned 40 missions between November 1998 and July 2011; 172 spacewalks during the shuttle program and ISS assembly; and hundreds of launches of Atlas, Delta and Titan rockets as well as other missiles and expendable launch vehicles.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Halvorson considers Cincinnati, Ohio, to be his hometown. He graduated from Greenhills High School in 1976, and in 1981, he earned a degree in English language and literature at the University of Cincinnati along with certificates of writing in journalism and fiction.

Halvorson started his career at The Lima News in Ohio and worked at the Columbus Citizen-Journal before joining the staff at Florida Today and USA Today in Melbourne in February 1986. He served two stints there, from February 1986 through September 1999 and then from February 2003 through October 2013. He retired as senior aerospace reporter and Kennedy Space Center Bureau Chief.

From September 1999 through March 2002, he was Cape Canaveral Bureau Chief for He also freelanced for The New York Times.

An avid investor, Halvorson earned a certificate of financial planning at Florida Institute of Technology in 1999 and worked as a financial consultant at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. in 2002 and early 2003. The February 1, 2003, Columbia accident prompted his return to aerospace journalism.

Halvorson is a longtime member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

He received the Harry Kolcum News and Communications Award from The National Space Club Florida Committee in 2004.

During his career, Halvorson also won awards from the Aviation-Space Writers Association, the Associated Press Managing Editors group, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Florida Press Club and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors along with numerous awards from Gannett, which owns Florida Today and USA Today.

He and his wife, Annis Outlaw, live in Titusville. They have three adult children and a grandson.