Congressional Space Medal of Honor

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Congressional Space Medal of Honor
SpaceMOH.jpg
Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Awarded by the United States Congress
Country United States
Type Medal
Eligibility NASA astronauts
Awarded for "exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind"
Status Active
Statistics
Established September 29, 1969
First awarded October 1, 1978
Total awarded 28
Posthumous
awards
17
Precedence
Next (lower) NASA Distinguished Service Medal
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Congressional Space Medal of Honor ribbon
Neil Armstrong being awarded the first medal by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, with subsequent recipients Borman and Conrad seated.

The Congressional Space Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress in 1969 to recognize "any astronaut who in the performance of his duties has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind." The highest award given by NASA, it is awarded by the President of the United States in Congress's name on recommendations from the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The award is a separate decoration from the Medal of Honor, which is a military award for extreme bravery and gallantry in combat.

Although the Congressional Space Medal of Honor is a civilian award of the United States government, it is authorized as a military decoration for display on U.S. military uniforms due to the prestige of the decoration. In such cases, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor is worn as a ribbon following all United States Armed Forces decorations.

To be awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, an astronaut must perform feats of extraordinary accomplishment while participating in space flight under the authority of NASA. Typically, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor is awarded for scientific discoveries or actions of tremendous benefit to mankind. The decoration may also be awarded for extreme bravery during a space emergency or in preventing a major space disaster. The Congressional Space Medal of Honor may also be presented posthumously to those astronauts who die while performing a US space mission; and as of 2004, all 17 astronauts killed on US missions have been awarded the medal.

Recipients[edit]

As of 2014, 28 astronauts have been honored with the award. Seventeen were honored posthumously: 14 died in either the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster or the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and the other three died in the Apollo 1 fire. An asterisk indicates a posthumous award.

Photo Name Date Awarded by Notes Ref(s)
Neil Armstrong Armstrong, NeilNeil Armstrong October 1, 1978 Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter Apollo 11 (Commander of the first lunar landing, first man to walk on the moon) [1]
Frank Borman Borman, FrankFrank Borman October 1, 1978 Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter Apollo 8 (Commander of the first lunar orbit) [1]
Pete Conrad Conrad, PetePete Conrad October 1, 1978 Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter Skylab 2 (first Skylab Commander; responsible for salvaging the critically malfunctioning station) [1]
John Glenn Glenn, JohnJohn Glenn October 1, 1978 Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter Mercury-Atlas 6 (first American in orbit) [1]
Gus Grissom Grissom, GusGus Grissom* October 1, 1978 Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter Apollo 1, Gemini 3 and Mercury-Redstone 4 (Commander of the first manned Gemini); died aboard Apollo 1 [1]
Alan Shepard Shepard, AlanAlan Shepard October 1, 1978 Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter Mercury-Redstone 3 (first American in space) [1]
John Young Young, JohnJohn Young May 19, 1981 Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan STS-1 (Commander of the first shuttle flight) [1]
Thomas Stafford StaffordThomas P. Stafford January 19, 1993 Bush, George H. W.George H. W. Bush Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (U.S. Commander) [1]
James Lovell Lovell, JimJim Lovell July 26, 1995 Clinton, BillBill Clinton Apollo 13 (Commander of the ill-fated mission) [1]
Shannon Lucid Lucid, ShannonShannon Lucid December 2, 1996 Clinton, BillBill Clinton Longest female spaceflight (passed by Sunita Williams) [1]
Roger Chaffee Chaffee, RogerRoger Chaffee* December 17, 1997 Clinton, BillBill Clinton Died aboard Apollo 1 [1]
Edward White WhiteEdward White* December 17, 1997 Clinton, BillBill Clinton Apollo 1 and Gemini 4 (first U.S. space walk); died aboard Apollo 1 [1]
William Shepherd Shepherd, WilliamWilliam Shepherd January 15, 2003 Bush, George W.George W. Bush Expedition 1 (first ISS Commander) [1]
Rick Husband Husband, RickRick Husband* February 3, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Willie McCool McCool, WillieWillie McCool* February 3, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Michael Anderson Anderson, Michael P.Michael P. Anderson* February 3, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Kalpana Chawla Chawla, KalpanaKalpana Chawla* February 3, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
David Brown Brown, David M.David M. Brown* February 3, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Laurel Clark Clark, Laurel B.Laurel B. Clark* February 3, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Ilan Ramon Ramon, IlanIlan Ramon* February 3, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-107 (died aboard Columbia, only non-U.S. citizen recipient) [1]
Dick Schobee Scobee, DickDick Scobee* July 23, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Michael Smith Smith, Michael J.Michael J. Smith* July 23, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Judith Resnik Resnik, JudithJudith Resnik* July 23, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Ronald McNair McNair, RonaldRonald McNair* July 23, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Ellison Onizuka Onizuka, EllisonEllison Onizuka* July 23, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Greg Jarvis Jarvis, GregGreg Jarvis* July 23, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Christa McAuliffe McAuliffe, ChristaChrista McAuliffe* July 23, 2004 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger, teacher) [1]
Robert Crippen Crippen, RobertRobert Crippen April 26, 2006 Bush, George W.George W. Bush STS-1 (first shuttle flight, Pilot) [1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Congressional Space Medal of Honor". NASA. April 28, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-05.