Before the induction ceremony of five space program heroes into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, former astronaut John Glenn Jr. is greeted with applause as he is introduced as a previous inductee. One of America's original Mercury Seven astronauts, in 1962 he became the first American to orbit the Earth. Twenty-six years later, at age 77, he spent nine days in space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. The ceremony was held at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at KSC. New inductees are 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. 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.