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Don't miss Space Fest on May 4

  • Published
  • By Sarah Swan
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Out-of-this-world activities - and perhaps even some "extra-terrestrials" - await visitors to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force during Space Fest from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 when the museum, Dayton Challenger Learning Center and more than 20 other participating organizations offer a multitude of space-related activities.

For those looking for a unique experience at the museum, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Force Support Fitness is hosting the second annual "5K Fun Run: Run the Solar System" on the runway behind the museum, which will be emceed by WHIO-TV personality Yuna Lee. A 1-mile kids' race begins at 8:30 a.m., and then at 9 a.m. 5K participants can run or walk through a scale version of the solar system. The pre-registration entry fee is $25 and includes a t-shirt. Race day registration is $30, but a t-shirt is not guaranteed. Registration forms for both races are available at

New to this year's event is the opportunity for the public to get a sneak peek inside NASA's first space shuttle crew compartment trainer (CCT-1), which arrived at the museum last August. CCT-1 will be available for viewing from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The cockpits of five other aircraft - the F-86A, SR-71, F-102A, F-111F and AT-38B - will be open for look-ins from noon-5 p.m.

Visitors can listen to presentations by two astronauts. Dr. Anna L. Fisher will speak at 10:30 a.m. Now a management astronaut in NASA's Capsule Communicator Branch and Exploration Branch, Fisher was a mission specialist on STS-51A and STS-61H. Former astronaut Pamela A. Melroy, who flew on STS-92, STS-112 and STS-120, will speak at 2:30 p.m. The presentations will take place in Carney Auditorium and will be followed by question and answer and autograph sessions.

Popular space-themed music will echo through the museum galleries as four area groups sing, dance and play space-related musical numbers to entertain visitors. The U.S. Air Force Band of Flight's Wright Brass ensemble will perform at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m. audiences will enjoy listening to the Xenia High School Symphonic Band. Finally, two groups from Troy High School will perform during the event - the Troy Tones Show Choir at 3:30 p.m. and the Troy High School Jazz Band at 4:15 p.m. All performances will take place in the stage area next to the museum's Korean War Gallery.

Space trivia contests will be held at 12:30 p.m., prior to the Wright Brass performance, and at 3 p.m., before the Troy Tones performance. These trivia contests also will take place in the stage area and are open to visitors of all ages. The 12:30 p.m. trivia contest will be emceed by WHIO radio personality Sandy Collins.

Younger visitors will have fun on the inflatable Space Shuttle Slide and Space Camp Bounce House, which will be set-up in front of the museum (weather permitting). Children will also enjoy storytime, offered by the Greene County Public Library, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., where they will hear space-related stories and make a craft near the Apollo 15 command module.

Throughout the day, visitors will encounter a variety of free, interactive and fun space-themed hands-on activities for all ages, including a Sun-Gaze with telescopes, indoor planetarium, model rocket building and launching, "Picture Yourself in Space" photo booth, space shuttle computer simulators, the ability to listen to satellites, and even special roaming characters.

In addition, the Air Force Museum Theatre will show Space Junk 3D at 10 a.m, noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. as part of its normal schedule. Reduced rates of $4.50 will be offered for all showings of Space Junk 3D. The interactive flight simulators and Morphis Movie Ride Simulator will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A reduced rate of $3 will be offered on the Morphis ride, and visitors can request the spacewalk ride (no discounts for the interactive simulators).

The museum café and an outdoor grill will have food available for purchase, and the museum store will be selling event t-shirts in addition to their aviation- and space-related items.

More information about the event, including a complete schedule, is available on the museum's website,

The museum is partnering with the Dayton Challenger Learning Center for this year's event, and more than 20 other organizations will be providing activities throughout the day. They are the AF ManTech Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory, AIAA Dayton-Cincinnati Section, Air Force Institute of Technology, Air Force Museum Foundation, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Observatory, Columbus Model Rocketry School, Dayton Amateur Radio Association, Dayton Regional STEM School, Engineers Club of Dayton, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Greene County Public Library, Inventors Council of Dayton, iSPACE of Cincinnati, Mars Society - Ohio Chapter, Miami Valley Astronomical Society, NASA Glenn Research Center (Cleveland), National Aviation Hall of Fame, Riverside Research, SWFTEC Technical Solutions, Team Ohio Rocketry Club and WPAFB Force Support Fitness.

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

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information about Space Fest, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Education Division at (937) 255-1560 (recording).

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.