KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2007) – World Space Expo, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida from November 3-11, 2007, announced today a weekend Aerial Salute by the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights as part of a 45th Anniversary tribute to Project Mercury.
Project Mercury was the United States’ first manned space program. The program successfully launched six of the original “Mercury 7” into space including Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth on February 20, 1962.
The 920th Rescue Wing, based at Patrick Air Force Base, will also stage a demonstration as part of the tribute. The 920th Rescue Wing, formerly the 301st Rescue Squadron, was responsible for recovering the Mercury capsules when they splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean.
“We could not think of a better way to open the World Space Expo Aerial Salute than with a tribute to the brave men who pioneered America’s manned space program,” said Daniel LeBlanc, Chief Operating Officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, host of the World Space Expo.
The U.S. Army played a key role in the success of Project Mercury using its Redstone vehicle as a launch platform. Wernher von Braun, a celebrated pioneer in the U.S. space program, developed the rockets that carried America’s first satellites and humans into space. Von Braun’s team would go on to design Saturn V, the rocket that carried American astronauts to the moon.
"It is a privilege to perform over the Kennedy Space Center while paying tribute to the 45th Anniversary of Project Mercury,” said Sergeant First Class Karen Morrison, Golden Knights Operations.
About World Space Expo (www.worldspaceexpo.com)
World Space Expo (WSE) is a large-scale public event held November 3-11, 2007 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The primary objective is to inspire, educate and engage the general public through an immersive experience of historic and modern exhibits, interactive presentations, rarely seen demonstrations, and up-close and personal sessions with astronauts and industry leaders. Attendees will leave inspired, entertained and enlightened to why research and exploration in space are vital components of mankind’s future. World Space Expo is supported through sponsorships from forward thinking innovative companies that support human space exploration and research. There are still excellent venues, activities and unique access hospitality opportunities available for sponsorship. For sponsorship information, please contact World Space Expo at 717.583.0800 or visit www.worldspaceexpo.com/sponsors.htm
About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Strap in for a day of space exploration at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the gateway to a working space center and one of Florida’s most popular destinations with more than 1.5 million visitors annually. Be prepared for an inspiring experience with tours venturing deep into NASA’s spaceport facilities, daily Astronaut Encounters, towering rockets and IMAX space films. Go vertical at the new Shuttle Launch Experience, the most authentic simulation of a launch ever created, opening May 2007. Admission includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame featuring the world’s largest collection of astronaut memorabilia, plus interactive simulators, displays, and tributes to the heroes of Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. Located just 45 minutes east of Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9:00 a.m. Admission includes World Space Expo and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is $38 plus tax for adults and $28 plus tax for children 3-11. For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
About the Golden Knights