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Tulsa Air and Space Museum Host Shuttle Astronauts at Annual Gala: AVIATOR BALL

By: PRLog

Museum's annual gala to host Shuttle astronauts John Herrington, Jim Wetherbee and Paul Lockhart; a live flight demonstration, Elton John tribute show from VEGAS, Ribbon Cutting of new Shuttle Simulator Exhibit to support the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

TULSA, Okla. - April 28, 2022 - PRLog -- The Tulsa Air and Space Museum announces the opportunity for visitors to support the museum by sponsoring tables or purchasing tickets to attend the 2022 Aviator Ball gala, with presenting sponsor, American Airlines, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Chapman Family Foundation.

The event will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Space Shuttle Mission STS-113 with an All-Star Astronaut cast consisting of Oklahoman John B. Herrington, Commander Jim Wetherbee and Pilot Paul Lockhart. Herrington, Astronaut on Shuttle Mission STS-113 and the First Citizen of a Federally Recognized Tribe and Citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, served as Mission Specialist on Shuttle Mission STS-113, and performed three space walks to assemble a large truss section of the International Space Station.  Jim Wetherbee commanded 5 Shuttle missions.  Pilot Lockhart piloted the shuttle on 2 missions.

Event Schedule: Saturday May 14, 2022

Doors Open 4pm

Cocktail Hour: 4pm-5pm (static aircraft for touring)

Flight Demonstrations: 5pm-5:45pm (featuring WWII warbirds)

Dinner, Auction, Astronaut Discussion Panel: 6pm-8pm

Following an outdoor experience of aircraft tours and overhead flight demonstrations of WWII warbird flyovers, guests will witness the Ribbon Cutting of the newest exhibit, a fully immersive Space Shuttle Cockpit Simulator.  The Space Shuttle Simulator project will provide an impactful, inspirational, hands-on experience that will "launch" the imagination of every user.

"We are incredibly thankful to the many entities that made this exhibit possible," says museum Executive Director Tonya Blansett. "Museum exhibits are usually one-of-a-kind prototypes that require hours of design and fabrication, which are costly and usually out of reach of most small museums.  The resulting exhibition from this 'Dream Team' of intellectual talent, and generous donors, will inspire children for many, many years."

The partnership between the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, The University of Tulsa-Department of Electrical and Computer Science Engineering, CymSTAR, the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA), and the museum's Special Projects Team, is an ideal model of how community can come together to create opportunities to inspire the younger population.  Four University of Tulsa seniors accepted the challenge of renovating an older Space Shuttle exhibit into a modern landing simulation as their capstone design project.

STEM Funding for the Space Shuttle Simulator project was provided by the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA).  The Science Museum of Oklahoma donated the Space Shuttle structure that had been stored in a warehouse in Oklahoma City for many years, and museum supporters Taylor Crane & Rigging and Miller Truck Lines transported the Shuttle structure to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum in August, 2021.

The event evening will also include a memorable and entertaining panel Q & A session where members of the audience can ask the astronauts questions, following a lively and entertaining live auction where the astronauts will assist the auctioneer with their humor and exciting stories.  Auction items include a Breitling watch, a ride on a WWII warbird T-6 Texan, a Colorado mountain cabin vacation, airline tickets and many other exciting items.  Three rare moon trees will also be auctioned, descendants of tree seeds taken to the moon on Apollo 14 by Oklahoma Astronaut, Stuart Roosa.

"The Aviator Ball:  An Evening to Endeavour" event will include an outdoor cocktail hour from 4pm to 5:45 pm in which guests can mingle with special guests and view several static aircraft including a new CIRRUS airplane, corporate jets, WWII P-51 Mustang, a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, and other unique aircraft.  WWII warbirds will also fly over in formations, making several different formation passes.

Live music from Oklahoma State Alumni, Colte Julian, will showcase the works of Elton John including a favorite "Rocket Man" tribute show from Las Vegas.

Other entertainment features include a silent auction, wine pull and an event merchandise area featuring exclusive autographed models and other space memorabilia.

Capacity to this event is limited, so early ticket sales or table sponsorships are highly encouraged.

Individual Ticket prices and museum hours can be found at   Tickets and event table sponsorships can also be purchased online or by e-mailing  The 2022 Aviator Ball will be held at the museum, located on the north end of the Tulsa International Airport:   3624 N. 74th East Ave.  Tulsa, OK  74115

Proceeds of the event support the Tulsa Air and Space Museum's mission "Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future".

For more questions, please e-mail

About Tulsa Air and Space Museum:
With a mission of "Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future", the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium (TASM) has carved out a unique niche in the Oklahoma museum community. TASM has been exposing students to real-world applications of STEM for over 15 years.

Tulsa Fact:  The Space Shuttle payload bay doors (PLBD) were manufactured in Tulsa at the Rockwell North American manufacturing plant which was located in the WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Plant located on the southeast corner of the Tulsa International Airport.

Tonya Blansett, Executive Director
Tulsa Air and Space Museum

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

Tulsa Air and Space Museum, Inc. Logo Tulsa Air And Space Museum Shuttle Astronaut John Herrington Rides P 51 Musta Shuttle Mission Sts 113 Crew 2021 Aviator Ball Flight Demonstrations And Static University Of Tulsa Dept Of Electrical And Compute

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