In October 1997 EPCOT hosted meet and greets with a number of Astronauts from Mercury to Space Shuttle and I met most of them!
It was great fun for me as I grew up in the 1960s as the country – through NASA – raced to make our slain President’s challenge to go to the moon come true. The opportunity to meet astronauts who flew on Mercury, Apollo and Gemini as well as astronauts who had flown on the Shuttle and spent time on Skylab, but one I could not pass up. I took time off work and took my daughter out of school. It was that important to me.
The September 29, 1997 edition of the Orlando Sentinel described the Epcot Space Celebration:
“As Kennedy Space Center prepares its latest induction into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Epcot is teaming up with NASA for an event of its own. The Epcot Space Celebration, to run Friday through Oct. 7, will feature a daily question-and-answer session with astronauts as well as displays and hands-on exhibits. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with a question-and-answer session featuring eight former astronauts, including Gene Cernan, Pete Conrad, Russell Schweickart and James McDivitt.
On the following days, some of the 30 participating astronauts will meet with visitors and sign books. Also, there will be exhibits such as a 330-pound space shuttle model made by a Boeing engineer. Children will be able to build their own model rockets.”
Saturday, October 4, 1997
1:30 p.m. Story Musgrave – STS 6, STS 51F, STS 33, STS 44, STS 61, STS 80
Sunday, October 5, 1997
10:30 a.m. Walter Cunningham – Apollo 7
12:00 p.m. Gerald Carr – Skylab 4
1:30 p.m. Wally Schirra – Mercury 8, Gemini 6, Apollo 7
3:00 p.m. Ed Mitchell – Apollo 14
Monday, October 6, 1997
10:30 a.m. Bill Pogue – Skylab 4
12:00 p.m. Gordon Cooper – Mercury 9 and Gemini 5
1:30 p.m. Scott Carpenter – Mercury 7
3:00 p.m. Owen Garriott – Skylab 3 and STS 9