KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (October 25, 2007) – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation are hosting the "Back to the 60's Barbeque" on Friday, November 2, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. It's a tribute to the 45th Anniversary of the Mercury program and celebrates the opening of World Space Expo.
Set among the Redstone and Atlas rockets of the Mercury program in the Visitor Complex's iconic Rocket Garden, the evening begins with a flyover by twin F-18 Super Hornets, a rare night jump by the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and a special guest appearance by Mercury astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter.
During cocktails and an outdoor barbeque, guests can enjoy top 60's beach music and visit World Space Expo pavilions to see a 1961 Russian Vostock capsule, a full-scale model of SpaceShipOne, NASA's 50th Anniversary Exhibit and other space-related exhibits. Also scheduled to appear are Christopher Scolese, NASA Associate Administrator; Bill Parsons, Kennedy Space Center Director; and Brig. Gen. Susan J. Helms, 45th Space Wing Commander and Eastern Range Director, Patrick Air Force Base.
Tickets are available for the "Back to the 60's Barbeque" on Friday, November 2 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Tickets for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander's Club Annual Passholders are $40 for adults and children plus tax.
"What better way to open the World Space Expo than with a tribute to the seven 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. "These are becoming rare opportunities to see legendary astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter in celebration of the beginning of America's manned space program."
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, John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth on February 20, 1962 and Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit Earth on May 24, 1962.
In the 1980's the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts conceived of a place where space travelers could be remembered ? much like baseball players and other sports figures. Their dream was realized in 1990 when the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame opened in Titusville, Florida, outside a gate to the Kennedy Space Center. The Astronaut Hall of Fame shares the human story behind space travel and features the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia.
The celebration of the 45th anniversary program continues at World Space Expo on November 3 and November 4 with an Aerial Salute to 50 Years in Space, featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Demonstrations by the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, the 920th Rescue Wing, based at Patrick Air Force Base, and a heritage flight featuring P-51 Mustangs, the original aircraft flown by many of the Mercury astronauts, will pay tribute to the men and women who made America's first manned space program possible.
About World Space Expo
World Space Expo is four days of discovery to celebrate 50 years of space exploration. Visitors will experience the thrill and power of America's flight capability in a weekend air show featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Astronauts John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Eileen Collins and a host of other space pioneers will be present in the World Space Amphitheater. Visitors will relive the triumphs of the space race; see where the space program is going and how it will get there at World Space Expo, November 1-4, 2007, at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Presented by Space Florida and sponsored in part by Florida's Space Coast Office of Tourism, the Country Inn and Suites and Holiday Inn Cocoa Beach. For more information, visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com/WorldSpaceExpo or call 321-449-4400.
Specially-priced advance tickets to World Space Expo, including admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, are now on sale through Friday, October 26 at a special pre-event price of $28 plus tax for adults and $18 plus tax for children 3-11 years. This represents a $10 savings on Visitor Complex admission and allows for one day admission between November 1-4, 2007.
For more information, call 321-449-4400 or to purchase tickets on-line, visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com/WorldSpaceExpo.
About the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America's original Mercury astronauts. Its goal is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for exceptional college students pursuing degrees in these fields. The Foundation funds nineteen $10,000 scholarships annually and has awarded $2.5 million to 226 students nationwide. Under an agreement with Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at KSC, operators of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation serves as a consultant in the operation of the Astronaut Hall of Fame. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's duties include supervising the selection, by an outside committee, of astronauts for enshrinement in the Astronaut Hall of Fame, obtaining their personal artifacts for display in the museum, and participating in their induction ceremonies ? and working with Delaware North Companies and NASA on special events. In return, Delaware North Companies contributes to the foundation's scholarship program.
For more information, log on to www.AstronautScholarship.org or call 321-269-6119.