NASA PRESS RELEASE
The Inauguration Committee for President-elect Barack Obama officially extended an invitation Wednesday for NASA to be part of the 56th Inaugural Parade on Jan. 20.
The crew of NASA’s recent STS-126 space shuttle mission and other agency officials will join representatives from across the country and our armed forces in this historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington following swearing-in ceremonies on the steps of the Capitol.
Chris Ferguson commanded the STS-126 mission and was joined by Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Donald Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus. Magnus remained aboard the station, replacing Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff, who returned to Earth on Endeavour after more than five months on the station.
In addition to the Endeavour crew, the NASA contingent will include a small pressurized rover. That vehicle is a concept for a new generation of lunar rovers that astronauts will take with them when they return to the moon by 2020. The rovers are being tested at sites around the country that have terrain similar to the moon’s.
Organizations wishing to participate in the parade submitted applications to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee. A total of 1,382 organizations applied to participate.