Grinnell man named to astronaut board

The Astronauts Memorial Foundation has appointed Astronaut Stephanie Wilson and Lt. Col (Ret.) Michael Olson as members of the board of directors.

Stephanie Wilson is the first active astronaut to serve on the board of directors for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. Wilson was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1996. She has flown 3 missions: STS-121, a return to flight and International Space Station assembly mission; STS-120, an ISS assembly mission and STS-131, a resupply mission to the ISS.

Wilson has served on the astronaut selection committee as well as in mission control. She currently supports the International Space Station Operations branch. Her achievements and honors include but are not limited to Harvard College Women’s Professional Achievement Award (2008); Honorary Doctorate of Science from Williams College (2011); NASA Space Flight Medal (2006, 2007, 2010) and NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2009, 2011).

Lt. Col. Olson is a career banker, currently serving as a vice president at Lincoln Savings Bank in Grinnell, Iowa. In 2009, Olson received a congressional nomination for an appointment by the Treasury Department to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee to the United States Mint. He proposed the 2019 Apollo 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin program while a member of CCAC in 2014 and was a key player in its passage into law in 2016.

Olson’s military career included several command and staff positions with the Iowa Army National Guard. His military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. He is also a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

The Astronauts Memorial Foundation was founded in the wake of the Challenger accident in 1986. AMF is a private, nonprofit organization that honors U.S. astronauts and astronauts who flew with U.S. crews on American Space Ships, who have lost their lives while on a U.S. government mission or in training. Twenty-four astronauts are now honored by AMF. For more information about the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, go to or follow the handle @amfcse on Facebook and Twitter.