The Titusville community and space enthusiasts are mourning the loss of a local legend, Robert “Ozzie” Osband, who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on the morning of August 6, 2023, as reported by the American Space Museum and Hall of Fame. He was 72.

Ozzie Osband, fondly remembered as the “Rocket Hobo,” was a prominent figure at Space View Park rocket launches for over four decades.

A brief interview with Robert "Ozzie" Osband at Space View Park in Titusville, FL on April 29, 2011. This was just after STS-134 scrubbed launch

His passion for space and the community was evident in his dedication to providing live commentary during rocket launches. On occasion, his enthusiastic “10-9-8…” countdown would humorously coincide with a liftoff, a playful jest among friends due to the unpredictable nature of “T-0” timings and communication delays.

One of Ozzie’s most notable contributions to the Space Coast was his role in establishing the “3-2-1” telephone area code, which went into effect on November 1, 1999. This unique area code, symbolizing the iconic countdown to a rocket launch, has since become synonymous with the region.

Karan Conklin, the executive director of The American Space Museum (ASM), expressed her condolences to Ozzie’s family on behalf of the museum staff. “Ozzie’s dedication to the space community and his years of service as a volunteer at ASM will always be remembered,” said Conklin.

For two decades, Ozzie volunteered at ASM, organizing informative talks and ham radio events under the call sign N4SCY. These events were part of the early initiatives of the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Foundation, the museum’s non-profit institution.

In tribute to Ozzie’s enduring legacy, The American Space Museum announced plans to honor him with a special feature on their Facebook page. Additionally, fans and admirers can look forward to a replay of one of Ozzie’s memorable appearances on the video podcast, “Stay Curious,” which will be broadcasted at a later date.

Rest in Peace, Ozzie. Ad Astra!

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One response to “Ozzie Osband, Originator of “3-2-1” Telephone Area Code and “Rocket Hobo,” Passes Away at 72”

  1. Deborah J Wunder Avatar
    Deborah J Wunder

    His memory for a blessing

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