Congressional Space Medal of Honor

Francis Richard “Dick” Scobee

(May 19, 1939 – January 28, 1986)

An American astronaut and the Commander of the Challenger STS-51-L mission.

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.

MOHHC web content image Dick
“If I can do it, anybody can,” he told a student assembly at Auburn High School after his first shuttle flight in April 1984. “My perception is that the real significance is that it will get people in this country, especially young people, expecting to fly in space.”

What is the Congressional Space Medal of Honor ?

space medal

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.

Help us celebrate a historic event.

You can donate today to the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center’s $2.5 million “The Journey Ahead” Campaign.

Our vision for the campaign is to create a new interactive exhibit that complements and expands on our existing award-winning gallery to immerse visitors in the inspiring story of shuttle commander and Space Medal of Honor recipient Dick Scobee and his aspirational faith in the future of space exploration. The campaign will also endow our STEM-based legacy education program. All contributions are fully tax deductible within the limits of federal and state laws.
MOHHC web content image June

June Scobee Rodgers

Founding chair of Challenger Center, is the widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Richard “Dick” Scobee.

“We decided the Heritage Center would be an incredible place for the Space Medal or Honor and somewhere we can share it with so many other people, especially children who might be inspired by Dick’s story of commitment.” Since the late 1980s, June Scobee Rodgers has been at the center of telling the Challenger story. She has been honored with numerous awards during her professional career as a teacher, volunteer, and spokesperson, including the National Eagle Award, the Women’s International Center’s Living Legacy Award, the Spirit of Volunteerism, the National Space Club Educator Award, and the National Award for Excellence in Leadership. In 2015, June received the distinguished Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award, and in 2019, she was awarded the Apollo 50th Education Award, saluting her pioneering work and dedication to motivate future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce.