Bonnie Dunbar to be in Astronaut Hall of Fame


The Kennedy Space Center in Florida will induct three American astronauts into its Astronaut Hall of Fame this month.

Among them is Sunnyside native Bonnie Dunbar.

Dunbar, along with Curt Brown and Eileen Collins, will join the ranks of space pioneers Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Jim Lovell, Sally Ride and John Young -- all distinguished members of the Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Famers represent the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs.

Dunbar is a 1967 graduate of Sunnyside High School who went on to earn degrees at the University of Washington and the University of Houston, achieving a doctorate in mechanical and biomedical engineering.

She worked as an engineer at the Rockwell International Space Division and served as a shuttle mission specialist and payload commander, completing five space shuttle missions from 1985-98.

She also is a former president and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle. She is leading a new University Science, Technology Engineering and Math Center at the University of Houston and is part of the faculty of the College of Engineering.

A ceremony for the new inductees to the hall of fame will be at 2 p.m. April 20 at the Kennedy Space Center's visitor complex near Orlando, Florida. Admission is free.

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