Astronaut Eugene Cernan has been named winner of the 2007 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.
The trophy, presented annually by the National Aeronautic Association, is awarded “…to a living American for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.” It is one of the most prestigious aviation trophies in the world. Previous winners include Charles Lindbergh, Juan Trippe and Neil Armstrong.
Cernan was selected due to his extraordinary lifetime of achievement as an astronaut, Naval Aviator, and ambassador for aerospace, according to Walter Boyne, NAA chairman.
One of 14 astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963, Cernan helped pilot the Gemini IX mission in 1966, and, during the mission, became the second American to walk in space. On his second space flight, in 1969, he was lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, the final test of an Apollo lunar module. He made his third space flight in 1972 as commander of Apollo 17, the last scheduled manned mission to the moon for the United States.
After logging 566 hours and 15 minutes in space, including 73 hours on the surface of the moon, Cernan assumed additional duties for NASA on the development of the joint United States/Soviet Union Apollo-Soyuz mission. He currently advises NASA on planned Lunar and Mars missions.
As a naval officer, Cernan accumulated more than 5,000 hours, mostly in jets.
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