Lt. Col. Dick Scobee’s story is both aspirational and inspirational. Beginning in the late 1950s, he worked his way up through the Air Force ranks from mechanic in San Antonio to combat pilot in Vietnam to test pilot at the famed Edwards Air Force Base and finally as one of the first candidates chosen for NASA’s space shuttle program. Along the way he overcame obstacles but remained dedicated to achieving his goal of space flight as an astronaut. Though his life was cut short by the tragedy of the Challenger accident in January 1986, he left behind a legacy of commitment, courage, sacrifice, and integrity that informs us all on our journey ahead.
Beginning in 1969, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor has been awarded by the President of the United States to 30 astronauts who in the performance of their duties have distinguished themselves “by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and of mankind.” In 2004, Francis Richard Scobee posthumously received the commendation as commander of the space shuttle Challenger.
On March 8, 2022, June Scobee Rodgers, Lt. Gen. Don Rodgers (ret.), and Commander Scobee’s children, Kathie and Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, presented the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center with Commander Scobee’s Space Medal of Honor.