Former astronaut Ed Gibson acknowledges the warm response to his introduction as a previous inductee into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. He and other Hall of Fame members were present for the induction of five new space program heroes into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame: Richard O. Covey, commander of the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission; Norman E. Thagard, the first American to occupy Russia’s Mir space station; the late Francis R. "Dick" Scobee, commander of the ill-fated 1986 Challenger mission; Kathryn D. Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space; and Frederick D. Gregory, the first African-American to command a space mission and the current NASA deputy administrator. Gibson orbited the Earth for 84 days during the final manned flight of the Skylab Space Station in 1973 and 1974. The induction ceremony was held at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at KSC. The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame opened in 1990 to provide a place where space travelers could be remembered for their participation and accomplishments in the U.S. space program. The five inductees join 52 previously honored astronauts from the ranks of the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz, and Space Shuttle programs.