Astronaut at Discovery Center Oct. 18

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first successful powered flight, Discovery Center is opening a new permanent exhibit on flight. Astronaut and Rockford native Janice Voss will be at the grand opening of “Air & Flight” on Oct. 18. A variety of special activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day. At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., visitors can meet and hear tales of space flight from astronaut Janice Voss. Other activities that day will include: n Hovercraft demonstrations in the Rock River, just outside Discovery Center; n Helicopter (Rock Valley College trainer) on display in Discovery Center parking lot; n Hot air balloon on display in Discovery Center parking lot, weather permitting; n Scale model of a space shuttle and other aircraft for viewing; n Paper airplane and glider workshops and contests; n Flutter craft drops; n Other activities for children, including the youngest visitors. Visitors will also have the chance to win two round-trip airline tickets to Orlando and a bi-plane ride. The airline tickets are courtesy of the Greater Rockford Airport d/b/a Northwest Chicagoland Regional Airport at Rockford, and the bi-plane ride is courtesy of Bob Newhouse, a Rockford pilot. Newhouse will talk at 1 p.m. about his recent adventure piloting an open cockpit 1931 Brunner Winkle Bird in the National Air Tour this September. The tour recreates tours that crisscrossed the country from 1925 to 1931 to promote excitement for flight. The “Air & Flight” exhibit is made possible in part by grants from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources/Illinois State Museum; Woodward Governor Company; Hamilton Sundstrand, a United Technologies Company; United Parcel Service; Invensys Building Systems; and Bradley & Bradley Architects & Engineers. Discovery Center is partnering with several area organizations to offer a variety of special programs this fall to celebrate the centennial of flight—Midway Village, District 205, Rockford Public Library, Rock Valley College, Greater Rockford Airport d/b/a Northwest Chicagoland Regional Airport at Rockford, Poplar Grove Airport and its Vintage Wings & Wheels Museum and Hamilton-Sundstrand. Many of these organizations are offering special programs and activities this fall. For more information, call Discovery Center at 963-6769 or visit the Museum’s Web site at The Museum is inside Riverfront Museum Park at 711 N. Main St. General admission is $4 adults, $3 children (ages 2 to 17) and free to children under 2 years and Museum members. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Museum is open Mondays on Rockford public school holidays and during the summer.

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