Secretary of Defense hosts award ceremony for four Astronauts. Three military, Colonel Gordon C. Fullerton, USAF, a Marine Corps Colonel and a Navy Captain receive the Defense Superior Service Medal and the civilian also receives a medal (?). Other attendees include: Deputy Secretary of Defense, Frank C. Carlucci; Secretary of the Air Force, Verne Orr; General Charles A. Gabriel, USAF, CHIEF of STAFF and General Robert II. Barrow, Commandant of the Marine Corps. Colonel Fullerton was on the Space Shuttle, STS-03, crew
The original finding aid described this photograph as:
State: District Of Columbia (DC)
Country: United States Of America (USA)
Scene Camera Operator: Robert D. Ward
Release Status: Released to Public
Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files
The Space Shuttle program was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972. The Space Shuttle system—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank— carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands as a glider. Although the concept had been explored since the late 1960s, the program formally commenced in 1972 and was the focus of NASA's manned operations after the final Apollo and Skylab flights in the mid-1970s. It started with the launch of the first shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, on STS-1. and finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011.