WAPAKONETA — Business entrepreneur Larry Connor, of Dayton, will become Ohio’s newest astronaut. At 72 years old, Connor is making history as part of the first all-private crew docking with the International Space Station.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Axiom Space is sending Connor, along with three other astronauts into space, spending approximately 10 days aboard the International Space Station conducting experiments and educational presentations.
In 2021, the Armstrong Museum reached out to Connor to see if he was willing to collaborate with the museum while on his mission. Ultimately, the museum gave Connor three items to take with him to represent Ohio aerospace history. These items include an embroidered patch of the Armstrong Museum, a piece of Kapton foil from the Apollo 11 command module, and a button from John Glenn’s senatorial campaign.
“We wanted to give items that represented the museum and Mr. Connor’s connection to Ohio,” says Armstrong Curator Logan Rex. “We are very excited that our organization is represented on this historic mission. This marks an exciting new chapter in space exploration and the museum will have personal items that directly relate to this impressive achievement.”
As the mission pilot, Connor has over 900 hours of training under his belt. The Axiom crew is using a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule for their launch and reentry. Along with the items from the Armstrong Museum, Connor will also carry a piece of the original Wright Flyer airplane to represent his hometown of Dayton.