NASA Alumnus Ed Buckbee to speak at Potomac State April 12th

NASA alumnus and subject matter expert, author, lecturer, and former Hampshire County resident, Ed Buckbee, will give a free presentation to students and the community at WVU Potomac State College on Wednesday, April 12 from 10:40 to 11:30 a.m. in the Davis Conference Center.  The focus of his presentation will be an inspiring story of “The Real Space Cowboys” which details space pioneers who took America to the moon and back.

In addition to spanning five decades, Buckbee’s career with the U.S. space program has been intertwined with U.S. history along the way.  The Mercury astronauts had just been selected at

NASA Alumnus Ed Buckbee
Ed Buckbee

the same time when Buckbee’s career was taking off in 1959.  He was assigned to the famous rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, during the Apollo-Saturn moon landing.  He attended the launches of Alan Shepard and John Glenn; wrote and produced television documentaries; and started the first space artifacts program in conjunction with the National Air & Space Museum.

Buckbee was also charged with developing, assembling and managing the largest collection of U.S. manned space flight vehicles on display in the world including the X-15; Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft; Mercury-Redstone; Mercury- Atlas; Gemini-Titan rockets; NASA’s Skylab trainer; the Saturn V moon rocket; and a completely assembled Space Shuttle, all of which are housed in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. 

Buckbee, along with von Braun, conceived the idea for the U.S. Space Camp programs which has grown into a $25 million self-sustaining operation and is considered to be one of the most successful educational museums in the U.S.  According to Buckbee, “Space Camp was designed to motivate young people to pursue studies in math and science.  More than 750,000 students and teachers from 70 countries have attended educational programs that I established and managed.”

A journalism and business management major, Buckbee earned his associate degree from Potomac State College and his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University.  He has been  the recipient of national and international awards including: the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, Department of Army Distinguished Civilian Service Award, Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Medal, National Space Club Media Award, Jimmy Doolittle Award, and  the Wernher von Braun Gold Medal for  Human Space Flight.  Furthermore, in 2007, he and von Braun were named to the Space Camp Hall of Fame.