NASA has a history of parade participation, including the Apollo 7 capsule and crew in 1969, a lunar rover in 1973, a NASA float in 1977 and a shuttle in 2001.
The STS-126 shuttle crew which just returned to Earth’s orbit on November 30 will join representatives from across the country included Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral in the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington following swearing-in ceremonies on the steps of the Capitol.
STS-126 commander Chris Ferguson will be joined by pilot Eric Boe and mission specialists Donald Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Expedition 18 flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff, who returned to Earth on Endeavour after more than five months on the International Space Station.
In addition to the Endeavour crew, the NASA contingent will include the next-generation lunar rover, which astronauts will take with them when they return to the moon by 2020.
Visit www.pic2009.org for more information about inaugural activities.