Fall Banquet and Other Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars! The next Pioneers banquet will be October 25th at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cocoa Beach. 

Details and ticket sales coming soon!

We will hold elections at the fall banquet. If you or a friend is interested in getting involved, please send nominations to Gretchen Sauerman at gsauerman@fit.edu

CCTS Presents Space Coast Robotics Showdown on Sept 28th at Viera High School.  

You are cordially invited to volunteer or attend for FREE Space Coast Robotics Showdown on Saturday Sept 28th from 7am to 6pm at Viera High School.
Please bring your family, friends,especially kids to watch FL and GA Robots compete. 

Email: chair@cctsonline.org



Message from the President

Today marks 50 years since we accomplished our greatest and most ambitious feat, taking the first steps on another world to extend the human reach beyond our own planet. Neil Armstrong’s ‘giant leap’ was a breakthrough technological and scientific achievement one only imagined in science fiction. 

Apollo 11 represented the best of what we can achieve with hard work, determination, and sacrifice. And I want to thank the members of the Missile, Space, and Range, Pioneers who were part of that auspicious mission and put hammer to nail or pen to paper in the effort to bring humans to the moon.

Many of our members worked hours and hours, dedicating their time and lives to answer President Kennedy’s calling with the belief that anything was possible, including the extraordinary task before them.

On July 20th, 1969, millions of people around the world turned on their radios and television sets to a part of humanity’s greatest adventure. They stood in silence with their loved ones, friends, and coworkers as the words “Eagle Has Landed” was uttered by mission control. No matter where on Earth they were or what language they spoke, all eyes were wide and for a moment, all of humanity shared a common purpose and common destiny.

Neil Armstrong would descend onto the dusty lunar surface, while the world waited in anticipation. His words “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” would echo throughout the generations and become in itself, a new call to action. And for the Pioneers who have joined in the years since Apollo, this is for you. The legacy that Apollo has built stands strong still today, and today’s generation will build a new legacy that will inspire the world yet again.

So I ask that we all join in celebration today. From Pioneer members who worked to support the launch of Apollo 11 to those who helped to construct the fleet of space shuttles and to those who support the commercial industry today, we applaud you. And I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this vibrant, hard-working community. 

Celebrate all that you have accomplished. Whether it’s going to one of the Apollo 11 events around the county, drinking some tang with your family, or just looking up at the moon tonight for a moment of reflection, I encourage each and every one of you to celebrate what has been achieved. You were responsible for making it possible.

Don’t let the excitement fade. A new class of Pioneers looks to those who have accomplished so much. Inspire them to push the frontier as you have and help make the Artemis generation possible and let’s be the first to put a woman on the moon.

I am incredibly humbled and grateful to be leading this organization during such a historic time for our members. I appreciate what each of our members have done throughout their lives, that allowed humanity’s spirit of exploration to ascend beyond the bounds of Earth. Thank you.

Chelsea Partridge 


Missile, Space, and Range Pioneers

Partying Like It’s 1969- Pioneers Celebrate Apollo!

What a banquet! Our event “Reflections on Apollo: 50 Years since ‘One Small Step'” was a great success! Jim Banke moderated a fantastic discussion with Apollo Legends Lee Solid, Bob Sieck, and John Tribe. We heard where each panelist watched Apollo 11, the lessons they learned from Apollo and incorporated into the shuttle program, and their thoughts on modern space exploration culture versus the culture around Apollo 11.

We also had special guests George English, founding member of the Pioneers and long-term KSC Executive, and Al Crews, test pilot and original US Air Force astronaut. Also present was Silver Snoopy recipient Janis Seraphine- who also worked under Wernher von Braun!

We’d like to give a huge thank you to the evening’s corporate sponsor- Lockheed Martin, and to John Gould of Living Space for advertising and writing about the event! You can check out his site here: https://www.livingspace.earth/

More pictures will be posted soon but in the meantime, you can check out the entire collection on our Facebook page: http://facebook.com/spacepioneers

Thanks everyone who joined us! We look forward to seeing everyone in October for our next event!

Tickets on Sale for Spring 2019 Event!

It is that time of year again! Buy your tickets now for the Missile, Space, and Range Pioneers Spring Banquet!    

May 10th, 2019

Courtyard by Marriott Cocoa Beach

5:30 PM Social Hour | 7:00 PM Dinner

We will be honoring the 50th anniversary of Apollo with a program called: Reflections on Apollo: 50 Years since “One Small Step”.  Our event will feature Lee Solid, Senior Executive of Rockwell’s Florida Operations , John Tribe, Chief Engineer of Launch Support at Kennedy Space Center, and Bob Sieck, Apollo Test Engineer and Space Shuttle Launch Director.

Corporate tables are available on request. Please contact chelsea.r.partridge@gmail.com.

Tickets are limited so purchase yours today!

The menu is your choice of:

  • Grilled mahi-mahi with mango black bean salad
  • Mojito chicken with mandarin oranges,
  • Vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms,
  • All served with salad, potatoes, vegetables, and dessert


Upcoming Events!

Lecture with Tory Bruno!

Mark your calendars for our upcoming events!

Join us as we co-host with Florida Institute of Technology for a lecture by ULA’s CEO Tory Bruno! Tickets are free and must be reserved in advance. Find out more HERE.

46th Space Congress

We are looking for volunteers for the 46th Space Congress! We are looking for volunteers for February 26-28. Email us to sign up to volunteer! Find out more HERE.


We are looking for volunteers for NARCON on March 2! Email us to sign up to volunteer! Find out more HERE.

Pioneers Spring Banquet

Mark your calendars! The next Pioneers banquet will be April 26th at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cocoa Beach. More details to follow! 

President’s Message: What a Year!

What a wonderful year 2018 has been for the Pioneers. We thank all of you for your support this year.

We had a fantastic banquet in the Spring honoring our roots and Armed Forces Day with Brigadier General Wayne Monteith. We heard about the Drive to 48 launches a year and we heard about Merritt Island High’s “Stangsat” CubeSat.

It was hard to follow such a great event with another, but we managed to do so with our Fall banquet. We celebrated the many accomplishments of United Launch Alliance with a speech by Ron Fortson. We heard from the incredibly talented Weiss School students once again, updating us on the status of their CubeSat (which has since launched!) and their education and policy initiatives.

We had a great year with you all and look forward to doing more and greater things in 2019. I leave you all now with a quote from the crew of Apollo 8, 50 years after their historic mission.

“From the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”

-Chelsea Partridge, President


President’s Message: Fall 2018 Banquet

Thank you everyone for showing up to our Fall Banquet! We had a fantastic turnout!

We want to particularly thank our speakers, Ron Fortson of ULA, and the students of The Weiss School. We also would like to specially thank our corporate sponsors, Boeing and Space Florida.

John Gould, a writer who attended the banquet, wrote a great article about the event. I hope you read and enjoy!


Thank you again to everyone for your support. We look forward to seeing you in the Spring for more events and banquets.

-Chelsea Partridge, President


Photo Gallery: Fall 2018 Banquet

Buy Tickets Now! Fall Banquet October 26, 2018

Join the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers on Friday October 26th, 2018  for an evening celebrating United Launch Alliance’s 130 successful launches (and counting!)

Space industry professionals, veterans, and enthusiasts are invited to the Space Coast’s Courtyard by Marriott located in Cocoa Beach for this event.

Ron Fortson, Director of Program Management, Commercial and Government Programs, will discuss United Launch Alliance and how they save lives, explore the universe and connect the world. Audience Q&A will follow.

Social and networking hour begins at 5:30 PM and dinner will be served at 7:00 PM. A cash bar will also be open.

Cocktail attire is recommended.

Students/Active Military: $35
Pioneer Members: $45
Non-Members: $60

Corporate tables are available on request. Please contact chelsea.r.partridge@gmail.com

TICKET SALES HAVE ENDED! If you would like to purchase a ticket, contact chelsea.r.partridge@gmail.com

Our Speaker

Myron Fortson is director, Program Management for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role, he leads the management and execution of all launch service programs for ULA’s government and commercial customers. Fortson previously served as the director of Mission Management and the director of Operations Engineering.

Prior to joining ULA, Fortson had a distinguished Air Force career, retiring as a colonel in 2013 following 26 years of service. While serving in the military, Fortson held a variety of assignments in engineering, operations, acquisition and staff units. He began
as an intercontinental ballistic missile trajectory engineer at Strategic Air Command in Omaha in 1987. In 1991, Fortson served at the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) as a Space Test Program mission planner and spacecraft project engineer. In 1996, he was assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) as a deputy director of engineering for satellite operations and a spacecraft and launch program manager for a joint space-based radar program. Fortson moved to the Pentagon in 2001 as a satellite control network program element monitor on Headquarters Air Force staff. Following this assignment, he returned to the SMC as the counterspace systems chief engineer and executive officer for the three-star commander. In 2005, Fortson served as the operation officer and commander of the 1st Space Launch Squadron for the Delta II launch system at Cape Canveral Air Force Station, Fla. He also served as deputy commander for the 45th Operations Group conducting range operations. Fortson held another short tour back at the NRO in 2009 on the director’s staff before returning to SMC as the chief of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Engineering and Operations for Atlas V and Delta IV launch systems in 2010.

Fortson received his Bachelor of Science degree in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Academy in 1987 and a Master of Business Administration from Chapman University in 1995.