NASA Honors Journalist Walter Cronkite

NASA is honoring Walter Cronkite for his coverage of America’s space program with the presentation of the Ambassador of Exploration Award.

The ceremony will be hosted by the University of Texas at Austin Center for American History is on Tuesday, February 28 at 3 p.m. EST (2 p.m. CST), at KLRU TV in Studio A (Austin City Limits), 6th floor, 2504-B Whitis Ave., Austin, Texas.

NASA is presenting the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the 38 astronauts and other key individuals who participated in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs for realizing America’s vision of space exploration from 1961 to 1972. Cronkite is the first non-astronaut and only non-NASA individual to receive the award.

The award is a small sample of lunar material encased in Lucite and mounted for public display. The material is part of the 842 pounds of samples brought back to Earth during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972. Cronkite will present the lunar sample to University of Texas president William Powers. He will accept the award on behalf of the Center for American History, the archival home of the Walter Cronkite Papers. The sample will be displayed in the Center’s exhibit gallery.

Cronkite is the best remembered journalist for his commentary and enthusiastic coverage of the historic progression of missions from the early Mercury launches, through the ground-breaking Gemini missions, to the Apollo 11 and subsequent moon landings. His marathon, live coverage of the first moon landing brought the excitement and impact of the historic event into the homes of millions of Americans and observers around the world.

For information about the Center for American History and media access to the event, contact: Alison Beck, (512) 495-4556; e-mail: [email protected]

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