2018 Astronaut Line Up

This year’s event is supported by a rare gathering of Apollo astronauts. The 2018 Apollo line up comprises:

  • Walt Cunningham – Apollo 7
  • Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17
  • Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9
  • General Tom Stafford, Gemini 6 and Apollo 10

Also from the Apollo era will be Flight Director Gerry Griffin. We are also delighted to confirm many other astronauts attending:

  • Andy Allen, STS-75, STS-46, STS-62
  • Scott Altman,STS-90, STS-106, STS-109, STS-125
  • Brian Duffy: STS-45, STS-57, STS-72, STS-92
  • Charlie Bolden: STS-31, STS-45, STS-60, STS-61, Former NASA Administrator
  • Chris Ferguson : STS-115, STS-126, STS-135
  • John Creighton: STS-36, STS-51-G, STS-48
  • Kevin Chilton: STS-49, STS-59, STS-76
  • Frank Culbertson, STS-51, STS-108, STS-38, STS-105, Expedition 3
  • Jack Lousma, STS-3, Skylab 3
  • Jerry Ross: STS-61B, STS-27, STS-37, STS-55, STS-74, STS-88, STS-110
  • Nicole Stott: STS-128, STS-129, STS-133, Expedition 19, Expedition 20, Expedition 21
  • Winston Scott: STS-72 & STS-87
  • Kathy Thornton: STS-33, STS-49, STS-61, STS-73
  • Terry Virts: Former Commander of ISS, STS-130, Expedition 42, Expedition 43, Soyuz TMA-15M


Walt Cunningham was on the prime crew for Apollo 2, before its cancellation, and the backup Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 1. On October 11, 1968, Cunningham piloted the Apollo 7, the first manned flight test of the third generation U.S. spacecraft along with Walter M. Schirra, Jr. and Donn F. Eisele. This flight established a world record for the greatest mass lifted into orbit and is still to date the longest and most successful first test flight of a new flying machine.


In 1965, Schmitt was selected as a scientist-astronaut for NASA. He completed flight training for future manned space flights, was key in providing Apollo flight crews with instructions for lunar navigation & geology and assisted in the integration of science-based activities for the Apollo lunar missions. In 1972, Schmitt journeyed into space aboard Apollo 17, the last Apollo mission to the Moon, as the lunar module pilot, alongside Eugene Cernan and Ronald Evans. The Apollo 17 crew broke several records during this flight including the longest lunar surface extravehicular activities, longest manned lunar landing flight and longest time in lunar orbit. Schmitt logged over 301 hours in space; over 22 of those hours were spent in extravehicular activities on the Moon.


Rusty Schweickart was selected as one of fourteen astronauts by NASA in 1963. Schweickart served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 9, the third manned flight of the Apollo program and the first manned flight of the lunar module, in March 1969. Schweickart completed a 46-minute EVA, aboard this flight, testing the portable life support backpack. Schweickart also served as backup commander for the first Skylab mission in 1973. He received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for his lead role in assisting to save the mission after its thermal shield was destroyed during launch.


General Tom Stafford was selected by NASA in 1962.  In December 1965, General Stafford served as pilot on Gemini 6, alongside commander Wally Schirra. Stafford and Shirra flew the first space rendezvous mission; closing the gap to within a foot between Gemini 6 and Frank Borman and Jim Lovell aboard Gemini 7. Stafford then commanded Gemini 9, with pilot Gene Cernan in 1966. In 1969, Stafford commanded Apollo 10, with John Young and Gene Cernan. Stafford and Cernan separated the Lunar Module and approached to within ten miles of the surface, paving the way for the first moon landing on Apollo 11. He logged his fourth spaceflight as commander of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in the summer of 1975.


A veteran NASA Astronaut, her experience includes two spaceflights and 104 days spent living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. She performed one spacewalk, was the first person to fly the robotic arm to capture the free flying HTV cargo vehicle, was the last crew member to fly to and from their ISS mission on a Space Shuttle, and she was a member of the crew of the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133.  A personal highlight of Nicole’s spaceflight was painting the first watercolor in space.

Nicole Stott

FRANK CULBERTSON – STS-38, STS-51, Expedition-3, STS-105

Frank Culbertson was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in May 1984 and completing his astronaut training in June 1985. As a veteran of three space flights, Culbertson has logged over 146 days in space. On his first flight, STS-38, the crew conducted Department of Defense operations aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. Aboard Space Shuttle Discover on STS-51, the crew deployed the U.S. Advanced Communications Technology Satellite and the Shuttle Pallet Satellite which carried U.S. and German scientific experiments. During this flight, a seven-hour EVA was completed to evaluate the Hubble Space Telescope repair tools and methods. Launching on STS-105 for Expedition-3 marked Culbertson’s third flight. The crew docked to the International Space Station in 2001 where Culbertson lived and worked for 129 days and was in command of the International Space Station for 117 days.


STS-115, STS-126, STS-135 Chris Ferguson served as pilot aboard STS-115 and commander of STS-126. Ferguson commanded the 33rd and final flight of Atlantis, STS-135, concluding the Space Shuttle Program with its’ landing after more than 30 years of service. Ferguson currently works for Boeing as the Director of Crew and Mission Systems; CST-100.


Skylab-3, STS-3, After his selection as astronaut, Jack Lousma served as a member of the support crews for Apollo 9, 10, and 13. He was pilot for Skylab-3 and spacecraft commander aboard STS-3. Lousma spent 11 hours on two spacewalks outside of the Skylab space station. He also served as backup docking module pilot for the U.S. crew of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission.

JERRY ROSS – STS-61B, STS-27, STS-37, STS-55, STS-74, STS-88, STS-110


Jerry Ross, veteran of seven shuttle missions, has logged over 1,393 hours in space including nine space walks. He flew as mission specialist on STS-61B, STS-27 & STS-37 and as Payload Commander/Mission Specialist on STS-55. He served again as mission specialist on STS-74, STS-88, and STS-110. Jerry was the first human to be launched into space seven times, comprising a world record that he shares with one NASA Astronaut.


Kathryn Thornton served as mission specialist aboard STS-33, served on the crew for STS-49, a mission specialist EVA crew member aboard STS-61, and served as Payload Commander of STS-73. Kathryn Thornton has orbited Earth over 250 times, traveling over 6 million miles and logging over 15 days in space. After her retirement from NASA, Dr. Thornton joined the faculty of the University of Virginia.


Astronaut Terry Virts was Commander of the International Space Station for over 200 days – the fourth longest continuous NASA space mission. He is also one of only 4 astronauts ever to have piloted a space shuttle, flown on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, performed space walks and commanded the ISS. He is also well-known for his stunning photography from space and filmed much of the footage for the IMAX film ‘A Beautiful Planet’. His National Geographic sponsored book is called ‘View from Above’.

Terry Virts


Winston Scott had a distinguished career as a naval aviator, serving as a fighter pilot and accumulating more than 5,000 hours of flight time. He has logged a total of 24 days, 14 hours and 34 minutes in space, including three spacewalks totaling 19 hours and 26 minutes. His first mission was on STS-72 in 1996, a 9-day flight which completed 142 orbits of the Earth, followed by the 15-day STS-87 in 1997.

Winston Scott


STS-45, STS-57, STS-72, STS-92     Brian Duffy, veteran of four space flights, has logged over 40 days in space. Duffy served as pilot on STS-45 and STS-57. On his third spaceflight, Duffy commanded a six-man crew on STS-72.  Later, Duffy served again as commander on STS-92 with a seven-man crew. He is currently Vice President and JSC Program Manager for Exploration Systems at Orbital ATK

Brian Duffy


Former NASA Administrator STS-31, STS-45, STS-60, STS-61  Charles Bolden served as a NASA astronaut for fourteen years logging over 680 hours in space during four space shuttle missions. Bolden served twice as commander on STS-45 and STS-60, and twice as pilot on STS-61C and STS-31. From 2009 to 2017, Bolden was the twelfth NASA Administrator, leading the space agency in its vision to reach new heights and uncover the unknown to benefit humanity.

Charles Bolden


STS-49, STS-59, STS-76 As a veteran of three spaceflights, Kevin Chilton has logged over 700 hours in space. Chilton served as pilot on STS-49 and STS-59, commanding STS-76.  After an 11-year career with NASA, Chilton returned to the Air Force. He retired from the Air Force in 2011 after earning his fourth star and achieving the rank of General.



John Creighton served as pilot on STS-51G and spacecraft commander aboard STS-36 and STS-48. John has logged over 403 hours in space. After leaving NASA in 1992, he is currently a Test Pilot with Boeing Airplane Company.

View of a full Moon photographed from Apollo 11 spacecraft