NASA will honor former astronaut Vance Brand for his involvement in the Apollo space program with the presentation of the Ambassador of Exploration Award at 9 p.m. EST (7 p.m. MST), Friday, Jan. 20 in the City Council Chambers, Longmont Civic Center, 350 Kimbark St., Longmont, Colo.

NASA is presenting the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the 38 astronauts who participated in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs for realizing America’s vision of space exploration from 1961 to 1972.

The award is a small sample of lunar material encased in Lucite and mounted for public display. The material is part of the 842 pounds of samples brought back to Earth during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972. Brand’s award will be displayed at the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center.

Brand will be the museum’s guest starting at 1 p.m. EST (11 a.m. MST) on Saturday, Jan. 21, during an open house, where the new display will be unveiled, and he will talk about his experiences in the space program. All events are free and open to the media and public.

In 1975, the Longmont-native made history as command module pilot with the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. This joint American and Russian mission was the first international manned space flight. It was an important part of improving American-Russian relations. Brand was also mission commander for three space shuttle flights from 1982 to 1990. He commanded flights on both the shuttles Columbia and Challenger.

For Longmont Museum & Cultural Center information and media access, contact Erik Mason at: (303) 651-8374; (e-mail:

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