For Immediate Release: July 15, 2019
Contact: Paige Easley, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation Board of Directors unanimously voted to include private astronauts on the Space Mirror Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The board also voted to include Michael Alsbury, a private test pilot who died in a 2014 test flight of SpaceShipTwo, on the wall.
This vote is the result of a long and thorough process over the past four and a half years. AMF acknowledges the important contributions of the private sector to the future of our nation’s space program.
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation honors and memorializes those astronauts who have sacrificed their lives for the nation and the space program by sponsoring and operating the national Space Mirror Memorial. The Memorial currently honors 24 fallen astronauts who have perished in US government-sponsored missions or training activities.
“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, Commander Eileen Collins, who is a member of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation Board of Directors.
CJ Sturckow, a retired NASA Astronaut and current Astronaut for Virgin Galactic, was instrumental in providing information and bringing awareness to the board of the need to update the criteria to include private spaceflight professional crewmembers.
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation's mission is to honor our fallen astronauts through the space mirror memorial and our living memorial, the center for space education.