Four Honored and Added to The Chroniclers at Kennedy Space Center

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  April 03, 2019 
Four Honored and Added to The Chroniclers at Kennedy Space Center
Brass plaques engraved with the names of "The Chroniclers" create a roll of honor on the wall at the NASA News Center at Kennedy
Brass plaques engraved with the names of "The Chroniclers" create a roll of honor on the wall at the NASA News Center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Four career media members are being recognized by the Kennedy Space Center and their media industry peers by being added to “The Chroniclers,” a list of retired journalists, broadcasters, authors and public relations representatives who have excelled at telling the story of America’s evolving space program.

A selection committee chose the 2019 awardees on March 25. This year’s inductees are journalists James A. Banke and Todd Halvorson, radio broadcaster Vic Ratner and photographer Peter Cosgrove (posthumous.)

They join the list of 75 members’ names on the wall in the “Bull Pen,” the room at the Press Site building at Kennedy where media traditionally gather to research and file their stories during launches.

James Banke began covering the space program as a college journalist at the Avion of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 1985. Banke then spent many years with Florida Today and was the co-creator of Florida Today’s “Space Online” website in 1995. Banke covered the Space Shuttle Program and many other launches from Kennedy and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for more than 20 years.

Todd Halvorson covered the space program from Kennedy for more than three decades, including as senior aerospace reporter at Florida Today. He also worked for and freelanced for The New York Times.

Vic Ratner covered the space program for ABC Radio, working out of Washington, D.C. Ratner was the only radio network correspondent on the air live when the space shuttle Challenger blew up. He remained on the air that day for over five hours, providing on-the-scene information and background on the tragedy for ABC News audiences.

Peter Cosgrove was a photographer for the Associated Press. Cosgrove’s photojournalism career spanned 50 years and included work with United Press International. Cosgrove covered four Apollo Moon mission crew recoveries and more than 100 space shuttle launches. Cosgrove passed away earlier this year.

The four honorees, each of whom covered the U.S. space program from Kennedy for ten years or more and are no longer working full-time in the field, were selected by a committee of working media, and current and former representatives of NASA Kennedy’s Office of Communication.

They join a distinguished list of broadcasters, journalists, authors, contractor public relations representatives and NASA Public Affairs Officers honored as Kennedy “Chroniclers,” including Walter Cronkite of CBS News, ABC News’ Jules Bergman and two-time Pulitzer winner, John Noble Wilford of the New York Times.

This year’s additions to The Chroniclers will be honored at a ceremony at the Press Site on Friday, May 3, at 10 a.m.

History of Recognition
On or about May 5, the anniversary of Alan Shepard, Jr.'s first flight, the Kennedy Space Center Press Site hosts a ceremony for that year's honorees at which time a brass strip engraved with their name and affiliation is added to the Chronicler Wall inside the media building. For more on the award and biographies of all The Chroniclers, visit the website:



Press Contacts

Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.


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