National Aviation Hall of Fame inducts class of 2016
DAYTON, Ohio — The National Aviation Hall of Fame inducted former shuttle pilot Robert “Bob” Crippen and former Flight Director Christopher Kraft, Jr., on Saturday, Oct. 1, in Dayton, Ohio. The 54th Annual NAHF Enshrinement Dinner & black-tie Ceremony was opened to the public at the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center and the adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The class of 2016 also included former Marine Corps combat veteran and Air Force fighter pilot Col. George “Bud” Day and Tom Poberezny, a former aerobatic champion and air show performer who served as the President of the EAA.
Bob Crippen was honored as a former Naval aviator as well as the first astronaut to pilot a space shuttle during STS-1. Crippen also flew three other missions STS-7, STS-41G, and STS-41C.
Chris Kraft was honored as a NACA aeronautical engineer who became NASA’s first flight director. Kraft created, implemented, and directed the Mission Control Center for manned spaceflight programs. That center was renamed in his honor in 2011.
The NAHF is a non-profit organization founded in Dayton in 1962. Its mission is “to honor America’s aerospace legends to inspired future leaders.”
Heather Smith's fascination for space exploration – started at the tender age of twelve while she was on a sixth-grade field trip in Kenner, Louisiana, walking through a mock-up of the International Space Station and seeing the “space potty” (her terminology has progressed considerably since that time) – she realized at this point that her future lay in the stars. Smith has come to realize that very few people have noticed how much spaceflight technology has improved their lives. She has since dedicated herself to correcting this problem. Inspired by such classic literature as Anne Frank’s Diary, she has honed her writing skills and has signed on as The Spaceflight Group’s coordinator for the organization’s social media efforts.