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Astronauts to make appearances during Space Fest at museum

  • Published
  • By Sarah Swan
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Astronauts Gregory Johnson and Douglas Wheelock will speak about their experiences in space during this year's Space Fest at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on May 16-17.

Former Astronaut and retired Air Force Colonel Gregory H. Johnson will introduce a special showing of Gravity (in 3D) at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 16 in the Air Force Museum Theatre. A graduate of Park Hills High School in Fairborn, Ohio, Johnson flew on several shuttle missions, including as pilot of STS-123 and STS-134 on Space Shuttle Endeavour. The theatre will charge a reduced price of $4 per person, and Johnson will answer questions after the movie. Tickets may be purchased at

Other Friday evening activities will include the "Space Fest Fun Run: Glow in the Dark Edition," which begins with a 1-mile race for children at 8 p.m., followed by a 5K run/walk for all ages at 8:30 p.m. The races will begin with a lighted model rocket launch. Registration and more information for these races is available at A free star-gaze with telescopes will take place at 9:30 p.m.

Current Astronaut and Army Colonel Douglas H. Wheelock, who spent nearly six months on the International Space Station in 2010, will sign autographs at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 17 at the Space Shuttle Exhibit. He also will speak at 1 p.m. that day in the museum's Carney Auditorium. Space is limited, and seating for this free presentation will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. A space trivia contest will take place at 12:30 p.m. in Carney Auditorium, prior to Wheelock's presentation.

Wheelock began his long-duration stay aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 24 and then assumed command of the station and the Expedition 25 crew. During Expedition 25, there were more than 120 microgravity experiments in human research, biology and biotechnology, physical and materials sciences, technology development and Earth and space sciences. Wheelock also responded to an emergency shutdown of half of the station's external cooling system and was the lead spacewalker for three unplanned extravehicular activities (EVAs) to replace the faulty ammonia pump module that caused the shutdown. His efforts restored the station's critical cooling system to full function.

In addition, Wheelock flew aboard STS-120 Discovery in 2007 when the module Harmony was delivered to the International Space Station, providing the capability for future international laboratories to be added to the station. During this mission, Wheelock accumulated 20 hours and 41 minutes of EVA during three spacewalks.

Also on Saturday, visitors will find a multitude of space-related hands-on activities for all ages, including a chance to see the museum's new Space Shuttle Exhibit, model rocket building and launching, reduced prices for space movies, workshops, trivia contests, musical performances and much more. Admission to most activities is free, and visitors are welcome to arrive any time throughout the day as activities are ongoing.

For up-to-date details about the event, please visit

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, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-4646.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.