Veteran Space Shuttle astronauts Dr. Janet Kavandi and James F. Buchli were inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in a ceremony on April 6.

The two pioneer astronauts were recognized for their decades of service and achievements. Kavandi and Buchli are part of the 18th class of honorees. They are joining the ranks of nearly a hundred inductees.

"With the era of new space exploration upon us, I am honored to recognize these two individuals who have dedicated their careers to furthering space exploration," said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Kavandi and Buchli represent the best of America's astronauts.

Dr. Janet Kavandi's Lifetime Of Achievements

Dr. Kavandi was a member of NASA's 15th class of astronaut candidates selected in Dec. 1994. She is a veteran of three space shuttle missions, serving as a mission specialist on STS-91 Discovery in 1998, STS-99 Endeavour in 2000, and STS-104 Atlantis in 2001. She has logged more than 33 days in space, holding a traveling record of more than 13.1 million miles in a total of 535 Earth orbits.

In 2001, Dr. Kavandi helped deliver the Quest Airlock to the International Space Station. Her service at the ISS included support to payload integration, capsule communications, and robotics. She became the deputy chief of NASA Astronaut Office in 2005.

She also worked at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas as director of Flight Crew Operations. In this role, she was mainly responsible for the Astronaut Corps and aircraft operations at Ellington Field. She retired from the NASA Astronaut Corps in 2008.

Dr. Kavandi now serves as director of NASA's John H. Glenn Research Center based in Cleveland, Ohio. She is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the activities of the center.

A Salute For James Buchli

Buchli, on the other hand, was part of NASA's 1978 astronaut candidate class. Prior to his selection, Buchli served in the Marines for 25 years and was a Vietnam War veteran.

He was a member of the support crew for STS-1 and STS-2, and an On-Orbit capsule communicator for STS-2. He is a veteran of four space flights, traveling 7.74 million miles in a span of over 20 days.

Buchli served as a mission specialist on STS-51C Discovery in 1985, STS-61A Challenger in 1985, STS-29 in 1989, and STS-48 in 1991. He was From Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office from March 1989 to May 1992. He retired from the Astronaut Corps in 1992.

"I have been very fortunate and blessed to have been given the opportunity to fly in space, to have been given my wife and my wonderful family, and to live in this great country," Buchli said during the ceremony.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation selects astronauts for induction.

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