Shannon Lucid Wins Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Shannon Lucid, who spent a record 188 days in space on the Russian space station Mir, became the first woman to be awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. President Clinton awarded her the medal in an Oval Office ceremony. Lucid set the American record for the longest time spent in space, as well as the world record for the longest time a woman has spent in space.
The Congressional Space Medal of Honor was authorized by Congress in 1969 to recognize "any astronaut who in the performance of his duties has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind." Eight other astronauts have previously been awarded this medal.
Media Resources: USA Today -- December 2, 1996; NASA's Spacelink Web site