An impromptu celebration to observe the 83rd birthday of Joe Engle, retired NASA astronaut and U.S. Air Force pilot, is Wednesday at the Kansas Aviation Museum.
Engle, who grew up in Chapman and is a University of Kansas graduate, flew three shuttle flights. In 1977, he commanded the Enterprise; he commanded the Columbia in 1981 and, in 1985, he commanded the Discovery.
The celebration starts at 1:30 p.m. and includes a proclamation from Mayor Jeff Longwell.
Engle, who now lives in Houston, is not expected to attend the event.
“I like to remember the Kansans who have done amazing things,” said James Mendenhall, who organized the event. “I was reading about Joe and noticed his birthday was coming up on Wednesday. This is one of the top astronauts in the nation. I want to say ‘Thank you for all you have done.’ ”