This year we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation, and honor the aviators and support personnel who have served in the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard. In fact, Celestis would simply like to say ‘thank you’ to all the men and women who have served in any of the military branches around the world.
The rigorous and exacting training it takes to serve in naval aviation has paved a direct road into other aerospace careers. In fact, the first seven astronauts, known as both the “Original Seven” and “Astronaut Group 1,” were all test pilots in the military before they earned a place with NASA. Several of the participants aboard The New Frontier Flight made their way through the military into a lifetime career in aerospace.
One of these Original Seven will be entering into Earth’s orbit one last time. L. Gordon Cooper, who became the first man to sleep in space while he orbited the earth 22 times on NASA’s Mercury 9 flight, will be on our New Frontier Flight. He started out in the Marine Corps before working in other branches of the armed forces.
William Reuel Barnett, Jr. joined the Navy after graduating high school. After his time with them he continued his education and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. “The Quiet Man of Rocket Engines” would work on such projects as the top secret B-58 Hustler Project and the “Pluto Project.” Never once did an engine of his design and installed under his direction fail during takeoff.
Another mechanical engineer, Albert (Bert) Fabre, was first an apprentice moulder in the Royal Naval Dockyard. Astronomy was one of his hobbies and cold nights didn’t deter him from aiming his telescope skywards.
For others, a simple love of space and flight kept on after serving. William Paul Peterson served in the Air Force. Science fiction and the idea of time travel fascinated him; this memorial spaceflight will be his third memorial service.
We look forward to our next space mission, The New Frontier Flight, as a way to honor these veterans and many others. We invite you to read the stories of our New Frontier Flight participants. For more information about events nationwide for the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation visit www.navalaviation100.org.
Finally, we also express our thanks in a very tangible way by extending a 10% discount off of our various memorial spaceflight services to veterans of all nations and branches of service.