9-13-13-Ken-Reightler-Astronaut-Suite-ImageA chance to meet a real former astronaut and maybe even ask him a question or two is coming up next Thursday, September 19.

Retired NASA Astronaut Ken Reightler will be the guest speaker at the fourth Annual Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center Celebration Dinner in Allegany, N.Y., on Sept.  19. Reightler has spent over 327 hours in space while supporting a worthwhile cause.

Selected by NASA in June 1987, Reightler, a United States Naval Academy graduate, completed a year of astronaut candidate training and was designated an astronaut in August 1988.

In September 1991, he was the pilot on the crew of STS-48, the first Space Shuttle Discovery flight in support of “Mission to Planet Earth.” Reightler next served as pilot on STS-60, the first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle Mission. Launching from the Kennedy Space Center on February 3, 1994, the eight-day Discovery flight included Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. The crew conducted a wide variety of biological, materials science, earth observation and life science experiments.

The dinner is open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Challenger Learning Center, 182 East Union St. in Allegany, preceded by a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. Dinner tickets cost $50 per person and patron tickets are $75 each. Corporate tables for parties of eight are available for $500.

To make your reservation online, visit DRCLC.org/events, email DRCLC Director Fred Welch at Fred@DRCLC.org or call (716) 379-8686. The Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center is located at 182 East Union St., Suite 2 in Allegany.

About the Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center

The Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center, a not-for-profit organization, is a space-themed educational facility with programs designed to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM education) through a series of hands-on experiences and simulations that are tied to classroom learning and team building. Visit the Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center online at DRCLC.org.