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Armstrong Awarded Space Medal of Honor - GPN-2000-001863

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.

RecipientsEdit

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 pose Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Apollo 11 (Commander of the first lunar landing, first man to walk on the Moon) [1]
Frank Borman Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Apollo 8 (Commander of the first lunar orbit) [1]
Conrad-c Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Skylab 2 (first Skylab Commander; responsible for salvaging the critically malfunctioning station) [1]
John Glenn Low Res Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Mercury-Atlas 6 (first American in orbit) [1]
Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom portrait Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname Apollo 1, Gemini 3 and Mercury-Redstone 4 (Commander of the first manned Gemini); died aboard Apollo 1 [1]
Alan-shepard Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Mercury-Redstone 3 (first American in space) [1]
John Watts Young Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-1 (Commander of the first shuttle flight) [1]
Thomas Stafford Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (U.S. Commander) [1]
James Lovell Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Apollo 13 (Commander of the ill-fated mission) [1]
ShannonLucid Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Longest female spaceflight (passed by Sunita Williams) [1]
RogerChaffee.1964.ws Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname Died aboard Apollo 1 [1]
EdwardWhite Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname Apollo 1 and Gemini 4 (first U.S. space walk); died aboard Apollo 1 [1]
William Shepherd Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname Expedition 1 (first ISS Commander) [1]
Richard Husband, NASA photo portrait in orange suit Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
William Cameron McCool Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Michael P. Anderson Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Kalpana Chawla, NASA photo portrait in orange suit Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
David M. Brown, NASA photo portrait in orange suit Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Laurel Clark, NASA photo portrait in blue suit Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-107 (died aboard Columbia) [1]
Ilan Ramon, NASA photo portrait in orange suit Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-107 (died aboard Columbia, only non-U.S. citizen recipient) [1]
DickScobee Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Michael Smith (NASA) Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Judith Resnik Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Ronald mcnair Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Ellison Shoji Onizuka (NASA) Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
Gregory Jarvis (NASA) Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger) [1]
ChristaMcAuliffe Template:Sortname* Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-51-L (died aboard Challenger, teacher) [1]
Robert Crippen Template:Sortname Template:Dts Template:Sortname STS-1 (first shuttle flight, Pilot) [1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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