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ECWG Dinner: The World 22 Years After 9/11- One Man’s Reflections From Space – by Frank L. Culbertson Jr. (Capt, USN, Ret) FN19

September 16, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Explorers Club members, member’s guests, associates, & friends are cordially invited to the September 2023 dinner & presentation  by Frank L. Culbertson Jr. to be held at the Cosmos Club on Saturday, September 16th, 2023 at 6:00 PM.

About the Presentation

Frank L. Culbertson Jr. (Capt, USN, Ret.) is an American former naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aerospace engineer, NASA astronaut, graduate of the US Naval Academy, and member of the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame. As the commander of the International Space Station in 2001, Frank was the only U.S. citizen orbiting the Earth when the infamous September 11th attacks occurred.

Through his years of service and exploration, Frank has participated in the most arduous of technical education and pilot training. An astronaut with multiple space flights, Frank’s perspective is unique. His experiences and achievements in the space program are amazing. Although he is credentialed in the world’s elite fraternity of space travelers, Frank communicates with everyone in his own “down-to-earth” style. Frank’s sense of camaraderie is profound, and his relationships with other people are as interesting as his own exploits.

About our Speaker

Frank received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy. Upon graduation in 1971, he served aboard the USS Fox in the Gulf of Tonkin prior to reporting to flight training in Pensacola, Florida. After designation as a Naval Aviator, he flew F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft in a variety of assignments, including a stint as a Weapons and Tactics Instructor at the U.S. Air Force 426th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Frank was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, where he graduated with distinction in 1982.

Frank has logged more than 10,000 flight hours in 55 different types of aircraft, and has made 450 carrier landings, including over 350 arrested landings, and numerous tests of the Automated Carrier Landing System. Frank was selected to serve as a NASA Astronaut in 1984.

A veteran of three space flights, Frank has logged over 146 days in space. The STS-38 Atlantis was a five-day mission (November 15–20, 1990) during which the crew conducted Department of Defense operations. The STS-51 Discovery was a ten-day mission (September 12–22, 1993) during which the crew deployed the U.S. Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS/TOS), and the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (ORFEUS/SPAS) carrying U.S. and German scientific experiments, including an ultraviolet spectrometer. A seven-hour EVA was also conducted to evaluate Hubble Space Telescope repair tools and methods. After the SPAS spacecraft had completed six days of free flight some 40 miles from Discovery, the crew completed a successful rendezvous and recovered the SPAS with the Shuttle’s robot arm. The mission concluded with the first night landing of the Shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center. After serving as the Program Manager of the Shuttle Mir Program 1994-1998, Frank was assigned to Command Expedition 3 to the International Space Station (ISS). The Expedition 3 crew launched on August 10, 2001, aboard STS-105 Discovery and docked with the ISS on August 12, 2001. Frank and his two Russian crewmates lived and worked aboard the station for a total of 129 days, and he was in command of the station for 117 days. He was the only American not to be on Earth during the September 11 attacks.

As the ISS passed over the New York City area after the attacks, Frank took photographs of the smoke emanating from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. He later learned that the plane that struck the Pentagon had been piloted by his Naval Academy classmate and fellow F-4 fighter pilot Charles Burlingame. With his trumpet aboard the ISS, Frank played taps for his friend. TheExpedition3 crew left the station on December 15 aboard STS-108 Endeavour, landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 17, 2001. Frank left NASA in 2002, and served as a senior executive in industry, managing numerous programs in Aerospace. He remains an active pilot and resides in Northern Virginia.

Buy Using a Check

Please include the following information:

  • Number of seats Reserved ($55 each)
  • Guest names(s)
  • Number of vegetarian meals (if any) desired
  • Organization Affiliation if other than ECWG

Mail with check to :

Austin Ager
2707 Parkway Place
Cheverly, MD 20785-3029
Mobile & text: 301-646-5418

You can pay at the door or mail a check. Without exception, your rsvp and proof of vaccination must be received by Austin no later than 5 pm, Monday, September 11, 2023. Absolutely no changes or cancellations after 5 pm, Monday, September 11, , 2023

ECWG COVID-19 Policy

ECWG adheres to all COVID-19 regulations set by the Cosmos Club and the District of Columbia. Masks and proof of vaccination are no longer required for entrance into the Cosmos Club but are recommended. Space may be limited to comply with Cosmos Club capacity regulations. Priority will be given to ECWG members and their significant others.


September 16, 2023
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Austin Ager


The Cosmos Club
2121 Massachusetts Ave NW,
Washington DC, 20008 United States
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(202) 387-7783
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