Private astronauts to be included on Space Mirror Memorial
There can be little doubt that the age of commercial space flight is here. A recent announcement made by the Astronaut Memorial Foundation has shown that another, more somber, milestone in this new age has been reached.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s Space Mirror Memorial contains the names of 24 fallen astronauts who have died in the US’ pursuit of space exploration efforts (either on actual missions or in training activities). That mirror will now include the names of astronauts who have died in service to the companies they work for.
“The AMF Board feels Michael’s contributions are worthy of remembrance, as he gave his life in the furtherance of the mission of space exploration. Michael’s life story will be remembered by future generations, and be an inspiration to those who seek to explore the unknown,” said former NASA Astronaut, Eileen Collins, who is a member of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation Board of Directors via a release.
On Monday, July 14 the Foundation’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to include the names of astronauts who died under certain circumstances. The first will be Michael Alsbury, a private test pilot who perished during an accident that took place in 2014 aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.
The AMF has spent the better part of four and a half years to develop the process to include private astronauts. CJ Sturckow who currently works with Virgin Galactic was involved in the process of how to include private spaceflight professional crewmembers.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.