This STS-41-D Charlie Walker button was owned by John Bickers, a Public Affairs representative for the McDonnell Company (later McDonnell Douglas), an aerospace company that held contracts with NASA throughout Project Mercury, the Gemini program, the Apollo program, and the Space Shuttle program. In 1984, Walker, a McDonnell-Douglas engineer, flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery as the first commercial payload specialist.
Buttons representing specific missions were examples of one type of space memorabilia often distributed to NASA employees and contractors. Wearing this button would demonstrate one's connection to the program. In this case, the button reminds us of relationship of contracting companies to human spaceflight efforts and the the numerous teams of people who participate in supporting human spaceflight.
During his tenure with McDonnell, Bickers compiled and edited Press Reference Books for the Gemini Space Missions and supported early Space Shuttle flights.
He donated the button to the National Collection in 2007.
Gift of John Bickers