by Sarah Swan
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
4/12/2012 - DAYTON, Ohio -- Special appearances by astronauts Gregory Johnson, Guion Bluford and Mark Brown will be part of this year's Space Fest at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on May 12.
Two of these astronauts will speak about their experiences in space, with the opportunity for autographs and pictures to be taken with them. The presentations will take place in the museum's Carney Auditorium. Space is limited, and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Current astronaut and retired Air Force colonel Gregory H. Johnson is Chief of External Programs for NASA Glenn Research Center. A graduate of Park Hills High School in Fairborn, Ohio, Johnson has flown on several shuttle missions, including as pilot of STS-123 and STS-134 on space shuttle Endeavour. Johnson will speak at 10 a.m.
Former astronaut and retired Air Force colonel Guion S. Bluford spent 13 years with NASA. Bluford became NASA's first African-American astronaut to fly in space on the STS-8 mission in 1983, the first of his four spaceflights on space shuttles Challenger and Discovery. He logged 688 hours in space as a mission specialist on STS-8, STS 61-A, STS-39 and STS-53. Bluford's presentation will take place at 1:30 p.m.
Air Force Col. (Ret.) Mark N. Brown also will be participating in Space Fest activities. Brown spent eight of his 13 years with NASA as an astronaut. As a crew member on STS-28 and STS-48, he completed a total of 161 orbits around the earth on space shuttles Columbia and Discovery. Brown is a member of the Air Force Museum Foundation Board of Managers and resides in Dayton.
During Space Fest, visitors can expect an exciting after-hours gathering on Friday, May 11. The museum galleries, café and store will be open extended hours, and the evening also will feature space-related IMAX movies, a 5K fun run with participants running through a scale version of the solar system on the runway behind the museum, and a Star-Gaze with telescopes (weather permitting).
On Saturday, May 12, visitors will enjoy a multitude of exciting space-related activities. The museum and several partner organizations, including NASA Glenn Research Center, will offer hands-on activities for all ages, including demonstration stations, an indoor planetarium, rocket launches and special appearances by astronauts.
Admission to most activities is free, although there will be a cost associated with the IMAX movies and 5K run. For up-to-date details about the event, please visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/spacefest.asp.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Education Division at (937) 255-1560.
NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at (937) 255-1283 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division.