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Tonight's star-gaze cancelled, other Space Fest activities to continue as planned

  • Published
  • By Sarah Swan
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
UPDATE: The star-gaze, scheduled for Friday, May 15, has been cancelled due to predicted rain and cloud cover. Other Space Fest activities will continue as planned (outside activities are weather dependent). Please see below for details about other activities on May 15-16.

You never know what you may come across in the galleries at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force! Out-of-this-world activities - and perhaps even some "extra-terrestrials" - await visitors during Space Fest on May 15-16 when the museum and more than 20 other participating organizations offer a multitude of space-related activities for visitors of all ages. All activities are free, unless otherwise noted.

The event begins Friday, May 15 with a rocket launch, signaling the start of a 1-mile kids' race at 6 p.m., followed by the 5K Fun Run: Space Costume Edition at 6:30 p.m. All participants are encouraged to wear costumes, and registration for the races is still available at

At 7:30 p.m. the Air Force Museum Theatre will show Star Trek (2009), which was Leonard Nimoy's last major role in a Star Trek film. Former Astronaut and retired Air Force Colonel Frederick Gregory, who flew on three shuttle missions, will introduce the film. Tickets are available at a reduced cost of $5 per person.

Finally, a free star-gaze with telescopes will take place from 9:30-11 p.m. Friday near the museum's Memorial Park (weather permitting). Miami Valley Astronomical Society members will set up telescopes and be available for questions and answers.

On Saturday, May 16, visitors will find a variety of free, interactive and fun space-themed activities for all ages. In addition to special astronaut appearances, visitors can build model rockets, try out space shuttle landing simulators, listen to stories and make crafts, meet costumed characters such as crowd favorite R2-D2, take tours of the museum's Space Shuttle Exhibit and much more.

The day's events begin with an autograph session from 10-11:30 a.m., giving people the chance to meet Gregory at the museum's Space Shuttle Exhibit. Visitors may bring one item per person to be autographed. At 1 p.m. Gregory will discuss his experiences in space during a free presentation in Carney Auditorium. Then, he will participate in a question-and-answer session and sign autographs after the 4 p.m. showing of the newly-released film Journey to Space in the Air Force Museum Theatre. Ticket information for that film is available on the theatre's website,

The Air Force Museum Theatre also will show Journey to Space at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday as part of its normal schedule. The interactive flight simulators and Morphis MovieRide Simulator will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visitors can request the "Discovery: Space Mission Hubble" and "Destination: Black Hole" rides. A space attractions package, which includes a theatre and simulator ticket, can be purchased for just $11.

Popular space-themed music will echo through the museum galleries as two area groups perform space-related musical numbers to entertain visitors. The New Carlisle Area Community Chorus will perform at 10 a.m. in the museum's second building. At 3:30 p.m., the Centerville Saxophone Quartet will play in the museum lobby.

Visitors can test their space knowledge during trivia contests at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in Carney Auditorium. The first trivia contest takes place prior to Gregory's presentation, while the second one precedes museum curator Brett Stolle's presentation on "Project Blue Book: The Air Force and UFOs." Both trivia contests are open to visitors of all ages, and prizes will be awarded.

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 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and face painting from noon-2 p.m.

The museum is partnering with more than 20 other organizations to provide activities throughout the day, including the 788th Explosive Ordnance Disposal, AFIT Center for Space Research and Assurance, AIAA Dayton-Cincinnati Section, Air Force Museum Foundation, Air Force Research Laboratory Discovery Lab, Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Cincinnati Observatory Center, Friends of the Observatory, Dayton Challenger Learning Center, Engineers Club of Dayton, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Greene County Public Library, Inventors Council (ICOD), KinderCare, Mars Society - Ohio Chapter, Miami Valley Astronomical Society, NASA Glenn Research Center, National Air & Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center, PowerStackers Robotics, R2-D2 Club, SWFTEC, Team Ohio Rocketry Club and WPAFB Force Support Fitness. Costumed character support is provided by individuals and groups, including costume designer Ayn Wood, 4Paws for Ability, 501st Legion (Star Wars), Rebel Legion (Star Wars) and Wright State University's Public History Program.

The Valkyrie Café and Refueling Café will have food available for purchase inside the museum on Saturday, and food trucks, including The Wicked 'Wich and Kona Ice, will be located outside the museum.

For a detailed schedule and more information about the event, please visit

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world's largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, 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.