Salute to Scout Astronauts
Keith Larson

The United States has promoted the successes and sometimes marked the tragedies of the space program on several postage stamps.  Because U.S. postal regulations prohibit using living people on stamps, the space stamps do not directly picture the astronauts, but show their spacecraft and spacesuits.  However, if one knows the names of the astronauts on that particular mission, then the connection can be made.

According to NASA, there are now 192 Scouting alumni of 300 current and former U.S. Astronauts (138 current, 17 candidates, 129 retired, and 34 deceased).  This includes 180 former Boy Scouts and 12 former Girl Scouts.  To be selected as an Astronaut, leadership and good citizenship are also important skills.  Approximately 64 percent have participated in Scouting, with 40 attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

STS-107, the Columbia space shuttle lost upon reentry on February 1, 2003 also had Scout alumni.  All four of the American men of the Space Shuttle Columbia were involved in Scouting in their youth, with pilot William McCool achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.  Richard Husband earned the rank of 2nd Class.  Michael Anderson was a Webelos Scout.  David Brown was a Life Scout as a youth.  Laurel Salton Clark was a Girl Scout.

Space Walk

[Space Walk]
1967 "US Accomplishments in Space" Astronaut Gemini spacewalk of 1965 depicts Lieutenant Colonel Edward H. White II [Second Class Scout].  He was later killed in the Apollo 1 by a launch pad fire during prelaunch testing.  This was the first "twin" or se-tennant stamps issued by the U.S. Postal service.  Lieutenant Commander Roger Bruce Chaffee [Eagle Scout] and Lieutenant Colonel Virgil "Gus" Ivan Grissom [Boy Scout] also perished with Apollo 1.

In The Beginning

[In The Beginning God...]
1967 "Apollo 8" Tribute to first manned flight around the moon.  Crew members included astronauts Captain James Lovell Jr. [Eagle Scout] and Major General William Anders [Life Scout].  On Christmas Eve 1968 the Apollo 8 crew gave the world a gift by transmitting a picture of the earth viewed from their unique perspective, released by NASA.  For the first time, the people of earth witnessed Earthrise over the lunar surface.  The image would have a profound impact on humanity.  While in their lunar orbit, they recited from the Bible, Book of Genesis.  This moment was forever captured on this commemorative stamp.

Walk On Moon

[Walk On Moon]
1969 "First Man on the Moon" Astronaut Neil Armstrong [Eagle Scout] was the first man on moon.  Die proof of this stamp was taken to the moon by the astronauts.

Moon Footprint

[Moon Footprint]
Man Walks on the Moon Celebrate the Century Series.  Armstrong placed a plaque on the landing site inscribed, "Here men from the planet Earth set foot upon the Moon July, 1969 A.D.  We come in peace for all mankind."

"I used the principles I learned as a Boy Scout to help guide my ailing spacecraft to a safe landing on April 17, 1970." Captain James A. Lovell Jr. [Eagle Scout], mission astronaut, Apollo 13.

Apollo-Soyuz Mission

[Apollo-Soyuz Space Mission]
Apollo-Soyuz Mission 1975. Vance D. Brand [Life Scout] and Lieutenant General Thomas P. Stafford [Star Scout] piloted Apollo to dock with the USSR Soyuz capsule in space on 17 July 1975.

Space Shuttle

[Space Shuttle]
Lieutenant Colonel Ellison Onizuka [Eagle Scout] and Christa McAuliffe [Girl Scout] were aboard the space shuttle Challenger when it perished during launch in 1986.

Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial

[Challenger Memorial]
Lieutenant Colonel Ellison Onizuka [Eagle Scout] and Christa McAuliffe [Girl Scout] were aboard the space shuttle Challenger when it perished during launch in 1986.

Note:  All astronauts who were on active service are listed with their highest military rank achieved.