Meet Ed Buckbee
creator and author of the 'The REAL Space Cowboys'
Ed Buckbee served as a NASA public affairs official during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo era of U. S. manned space flight. He was appointed the first director who designed, built and operated the world’s largest space museum, the U. S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL. He is the founder of Space Camp and Aviation Challenge and curator of the Wernher von Braun papers. He is a prolific author, lecturer and expert on Wernher von Braun, the early years of manned space exploration, marketing NASA and the moon landings.
Ed Buckbee, who worked with Wernher von Braun as a young NASA publicist in Huntsville during the 1960s, was honored by the Alabama Tourism Department Monday, Aug. 19, for "popularizing the space program for more than 40 years," in the words of State Tourism Director Lee Sentell. This is only the second one that has been awarded.
Buckbee worked with von Braun during the Apollo era and was with the rocket pioneer when von Braun commented that the world had sports camps and should have a space camp. Von Braun also strongly supported a museum to showcase the history NASA was making at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
"Buckbee took and idea von Braun and others had and created an institution that has exceeded the vision of its founders," Sentell said Tuesday. "(The U.S. Space & Rocket Center) is not just an exhibit, but a destination that has attracted visitors, fans and imitators from around the world."
More than a museum, Sentell said the center under Buckbee became "a learning experience" through Space Camp, which Sentell called "the most popular youth education destination in the country."
Ed Buckbee has been associated with America’s space program for four decades. As a NASA public affairs officer during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, he was a spokesman for the early astronauts and the Apollo moonwalkers. He was at Cape Canaveral for Alan Shepard and John Glenn’s early flights and was present for all of the moon shots. He will tell you why seven military test pilots became the first Mercury astronauts and describe the fierce competition among them for the first rides into space. He will talk about the extreme training they experienced and behind the scenes pranks and gotchas they played on each other.
Buckbee will take you to the moon with America’s moon walkers and tell you of the close calls and humorous happenings. He will describe the incredible machines flown by the astronauts, designed and built by NASA and America’s space industry and he will do this with exciting photos and video clips few of us have seen.
He’s a TV documentary producer and author of several books and the founder of the highly successful U.S. Space Camp program for aspiring young astronauts. He along with the Mercury astronauts established the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Graduated from Potomac State College,
Buckbee has appeared on CNN, Late Night with David Letterman, Good Morning America and the Today Show. He serves as Omega’s moderator for astronaut appearances and space celebrations. Watch the Appearances web page for upcoming events where you can meet Ed Buckbee, the author and creator of “The REAL Space Cowboys”.
Pictured: Charlie Duke, Gene Cernan, Tom Stafford, Scott Carpenter and Ed Buckbee
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