This plaque marks the first crew charter for Starship PRODUS of the National Aerospace Cadets (NAC), an aerospace education organization founded by Ken Beatty in 1980. Beaty organized the nonprofit NAC to prepare boys and girls to live in the space age, with lessons in areas such as astronomy, computers, electronics, model rocketry, and celestial navigation. Youth members functioned as space "crews" that earned military-styled ranks as they acquired new skills and passed set tests. Similarly, the adult leaders also advanced in rank. Although crews could carry out their lessons at any location across the country where they had the NAC's lessons, Beatty's first crew worked out of the Delmarva Space Training Center, an educational center for the NAC located in the basement of his home where this plaque hung.
This plaque displays the logo that Beatty, who also worked as a technical illustrator, created for the NAC. Beatty donated the plaque to the Smithsonian Institution's National Collection in 2008.
Gift of the National Aerospace Cadets and their founder and Director Kenneth E. Beatty.