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Richard Mastracchio and Scott Kelly

Richard "Rick" Mastracchio, three-time shuttle flyer: STS-106, 118, and -131. He is slated to be a Flight Engineer on Expeditions 38 and 39 in 2013. He was doing a presentation at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Conn., 27 March 2011.


He had a worn Sharpie from signing all day. I offered him mine, but he wouldn't take it. I consider myself fortunate in getting a full signature, with last name. (And Mastracchio signed with his last name in my Space Shuttle: 20 Years book, too.) Probably due to the large numbers of photos Mastracchio was signing, he autographed with "[Person's name] / Best wishes / Rick." (But do the kids worry about things like that? The parent in front of us wanted the litho with a date, most likely to remember the occasion by.)


I chose this photo because retired Navy Capt. Scott J. Kelly, on the right, is from New Jersey, and I hope one day to meet him and get this completed. (And no, Mastracchio doesn't remember what food was being tasted here.)


Well, I did meet Kelly finally, shortly before a Circumnavigators Club event in New York City, where he was going to accept the Magellan Award on behalf of himself and his twin brother, Navy Capt. Mark E. Kelly.


Kelly wasn't sure either what was being tasted here, although he thought it might have been a vanilla-tasting breakfast.


After missing Kelly at the event where I met his brother (Baltimore) and not finding out until too late he did a presentation at Pax River also in Maryland, as well as a years-ago event in NJ, I'm happy to have Kelly's signature - and also that this photo is completed. 14 December 2012.

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Taken on December 14, 2012