The Cosmosphere's annual end-of-summer fundraising event is celebrating its third year with a truly spectacular lineup of special guests. August 22-24, 2014, the Cosmosphere will welcome Apollo XVI moonwalker Charlie Duke and Apollo XIII astronauts Fred Haise and Jim Lovell; STS-41D and STS-93 shuttle astronauts Catherine "Cady" Coleman (STS-93), Steven Hawley (STS-41D and STS-93), Mike Mullane (STS-41D), and Charles Walker (STS-41D); and SR-71 Blackbird Pilots, Reconnaissance System Officers, and Maintenance Crew Members. The group of guests will be participating in various activities throughout the weekend, including book and model signings, a progressive dinner and the reception that gives the entire event its name, the Fly Around Dine Around.
The SR-71 Blackbird, built by Lockheed Martin's then top secret Skunkworks division in the 1960s, was — and remains — the world's fastest spyplane, able to fly across the United States in just over an hour. The Blackbird was used by the United States Air Force from 1964 until 1998. A flown SR-71 Blackbird is the prominent display greeting visitors as they enter the Cosmosphere.
SR-71 Blackbird Crew in attendance: Pilots Gil Bertelson, Buz Carpenter, Jerry Glasser, Rich Graham, Pat Halloran, Joe Kinego, Jim Shelton, Lee Shelton, and Don Walbrecht; Reconnaissance System Officers John Manzi, G.T. Morgan, John Murphy, Allen Payne, and Frank Stampf; and Maintenance Crew members David Burns, Denise Garcia, Mike Hull, Lewis Sulzle, and Ron Thompson.
Advance reservations are highly recommended. Tickets may be purchased via email by requesting a form or via phone at (620) 665.9316 or (800) 397.0330 x316.
Each day from Friday, August 22, through Sunday, August 24, visitors will — through the purchase of a daily Fly Around Mission Pass ($30 adults, $15 children) — have unlimited access to all venues in the Cosmosphere: The Hall of Space Museum, Justice Planetarium, Dr. Goddard's Lab, the naviGATOR simulator, and documentaries in the Carey Digital Dome Theater (Friday and Sunday feature films not included). While here, visitors have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and greet Blackbird crew members and shuttle astronauts, attend reflections panels hosted by these renowned guest aviators and astronauts, and attend book and model signings with Blackbird and shuttle crew members.
Friday (8/22) from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday (8/23) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors will also have the thrilling opportunity to experience mobile F-4 Phantom and B-52 Stratofortress flight simulators. F-4 simulator experiences are 10-minute sessions at $20 per person (two seats per flight). B-52 simulator experiences are available at $25 per person for a 10-minute session, $40 per person for a 20-minute session, and $60 per person for a 30 minute session (two seats per flight (pilot and co-pilot), plus one passenger can accompany for $10). Simulator sessions must be purchased on-site during the event.
A detailed schedule of events is available at cosmo.org.
Astronauts and Aviators Progressive Dinner
Saturday (8/23) from 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., patrons may join 15 astronauts and aviators for an elegant, five-course dinner with a backdrop of the International Space Station in the Cosmosphere's Discovery Room. A limited number of seats are still available for $250 per person and include admission to the Fly Around Dine Around Reception. Additionally, a limited number of photo opportunities with Apollo astronauts Duke, Haise and Lovell are available for $200 per photo.
After each course, the astronauts and aviators will progress to different tables, giving each attendee the opportunity to have extraordinary conversations with five different honored guests, including: Apollo moonwalker Charlie Duke and Apollo XIII astronauts Fred Haise and Jim Lovell; shuttle astronauts Dr. Steven Hawley, Mike Mullane and Charles Walker; SR-71 pilots Buz Carpenter, Rich Graham, Pat Halloran, Joe Kinego and Jim Shelton; and more!
Tickets to the Progressive Dinner can be reserved by calling Dianne Blick, Director of Development, at (620) 665.9339 or (800) 397.0330 x339. A credit card is required to guarantee reservation.
Third Annual Fly Around Dine Around Reception
In a truly-out-of-this-world celebration, the Third Annual Fly Around Dine Around honors the heroes of aviation and space exploration with an unforgettable reception. Saturday (8/23) from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Cosmosphere's Grand Lobby and Rotunda, patrons will enjoy a unique tasting of the many delicious offerings available in Hutchinson and surrounding areas. The reception is made possible through a partnership with area eateries and caterers. Sample food selections will be provided by Anchor Inn, Carlos O'Kelly's, Dillon's Chinese Kitchen, Dillon's Marketplace, Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott, Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q, Hutchinson Town Club, Jackson Meat, Jillian's Italian Grill, Mr. Cao Japanese Steakhouse, Pizza Ranch, Serendipity Cupcakes, Sunflower Supper Club & Catering. Beverages will be provided by City Beverage, Egbert Liquor, Metropolitan Coffee, and Starbucks.
Exciting door prizes will be awarded from 6:30 p.m. until 7:45 p.m. A silent auction will be held during the reception, offering myriad collectibles including signed models, photos, prints and more. Highlighted auction items include Apollo and shuttle models signed by astronauts in attendance, a NASA X-15 model signed by Joe Engle, four chair-back tickets with parking passes in Section 5 to the K-State vs Texas Tech matchup (10/4/2014), and a space shuttle Columbia full-stack model signed by Eileen Collins. A full list of items for auction will be posted on cosmo.org August 4, 2014.
At approximately 7:45 p.m., the red carpet will roll out for the arrival of the astronauts and aviators, who will make their way through the crowd to the shuttle wing in the Cosmosphere's Grand Lobby. Apollo astronauts Duke, Haise and Lovell will share memories of their missions and guests will hear firsthand stories and accounts of experiences from the early days of the Space Race. Shuttle astronauts and SR-71 crew will mingle during the reception.
Advance reservations are highly recommended. Tickets for the Fly Around Dine Around Reception are $40 for Cosmosphere Members, $50 for Non-Members. Tickets can be reserved via email by requesting a form or via phone by calling (620) 665.9316 or (800) 397.0330 x316. A credit card is required to guarantee reservation.
Book and Model Signings
SR-71 Blackbird pilot Colonel Rich Graham will be signing four of his books Saturday (8/23) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday (8/24) from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Shuttle Wing. Books must be purchased on-site, and include "SR-71 Revealed: The Inside Story" ($19); "SR-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales, and Legends" ($28); "Flying the SR-71 Blackbird: In the Cockpit on a Secret Operational Mission" ($28); and his newest book, "SR-71: The Complete Illustrated Story of the Blackbird, the World's Highest, Fastest Plane" ($35). Colonel Graham's books must be purchased at the time of the signing.
Souvenir programs featuring all the astronauts and aviators in attendance during the Fly Around Dine Around weekend are available for pre-order or may be purchased on-site (as available) during the event. SR-71 crew will sign and personalize programs for visitors during Meet and Greet hours Friday (8/22) 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday (8/23) 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday (8/24) 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Shuttle astronauts will sign souvenir programs as well as any item purchased in the Cosmosphere's Cargo Bay Gift Store Saturday (8/23) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Hall of Space Museum's Shuttle Gallery.
Items available for purchase in the Cargo Bay Gift Store include shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane's books "Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut" and "Do Your Ears Pop In Space?: And 500 Other Surprising Questions About Space Travel," models, photos, mission patches and other memorabilia from the shuttle program.
Personalized shuttle astronaut signatures in the souvenir program, or any shuttle astronaut signature or personalization on Gift Store items requires the purchase of an individual Shuttle Astronaut Personalized Signature Coupon ($20).
Things to Know About the Signings
Paid admission is required to attend attend the signings. Purchase of designated items for signings are required for all entries - including Cosmosphere Members and Reno County residents, as the day is dedicated to fundraising activities. Proof of purchase from the Cargo Bay Gift Store for items to be presented for signing is required and must be presented at the time of signing.
Families or groups who wish to attend the signings will need to purchase separate admission for each person, but need only purchase one item for signing per family/group.
Apollo astronauts will not be participating in any signings, but will have signed items in the auction.
All books and souvenir items (except books by Colonel Rich Graham) attendees wish to present for signing must be purchased through the Cosmosphere's Cargo Bay Gift Store. Advance purchases are strongly recommended, and may be made any time by calling (620) 665.9350 or (800) 397.0330 x350.
Visitors may take photos of the astronauts while their item is being signed.
These guidelines will be strictly enforced.
Advance Sales and Early Closing
Advance purchase and pickup of tickets and souvenir items is recommended. Purchases made prior to 5 p.m. August 14 will be available for pickup from Tuesday, August 19 at 9 a.m., through Thursday, August 21 at 5 p.m. Purchases made between August 15 and August 20 will be available for on-site pick-up starting Friday, August 22, at 9 a.m. Advance sales close Wednesday, August 20, at 5 p.m. and will only be available for on-site purchase during Fly Around Dine Around events. Fly Around Dine Around Reception tickets not purchased prior to August 20 at 5 p.m. will be available for purchase at the Reception.
The Annual Fly Around Dine Around is a fundraising weekend, therefore no discounts (AAA, AARP, Senior, Military, or Other) will be honored. Membership discounts/pricing do apply at Cargo Bay and at the Fly Around Dine Around Reception. The Cosmosphere appreciates your understanding and support.
The Cosmosphere will close to the public at 4 p.m. August 23, 2014, in preparation for the Fly Around Dine Around Reception, and will reopen at 6:30 p.m. for the event. The Cosmosphere will open early at 9 a.m. Sunday, August 24, 2014.
All proceeds from the Fly Around Dine Around events will support Cosmosphere operational fundraising initiatives.
The Third Annual Fly Around Dine Around is made possible in part through partnership with Underwriters: Clayworks, One Door North, and Dimensional Innovations; and Event Sponsors: Art Studio Signs, collectSPACE, Kansas Air National Guard, Kansas Pilot Association, KHUT, KHMY, KWBW, The Hutchinson News, and The Wichita Eagle.
Should unexpected circumstances prohibit honored guests appearances, no refunds will be issued unless tickets are resold.
The Smithsonian-affiliated Cosmosphere houses the largest collection of U.S. and Russian space artifacts in the world. The Cosmosphere's mission is: Inspiring innovation through science education and honoring the history of space exploration. Camp KAOS, the Cosmosphere's summer camp program for students entering second grade through high school, is dedicated to inspiring explorers of all ages using STEM principles and building leadership and teamwork skills.
The SpaceWorks division has an international reputation for historic artifact preservation, replication and exhibit design. SpaceWorks has completed projects for NASA, the Smithsonian, and Hollywood films, including Ron Howard's "Apollo 13" and the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon."