Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Drink craft beer, bring an aircraft to Huntsville, Alabama, during Rocket Center event at Straight to Ale

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Only in Huntsville would craft beer and a shuttle training aircraft used to train astronauts somehow fit together without raising a lot of eyebrows. 

Drink a Monkeynaut India Pale Ale or any brew from Straight to Ale on Thursday night and a portion of your purchase will help support the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's efforts to land the Gulfstream II (G-II) Shuttle Training Aircraft in Huntsville.

In early March, USSRC launched its first-ever 60-day crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $70,000 to bring the aircraft to the space center's Shuttle Park. As of 9 this morning, $32,425 had been collected toward the cause.

Click here to check out the fundraising campaign.

"Right now we are in the education sub-category's top 10 most popular campaigns currently active on Indiegogo," said Trevor Daniels,  USSRC community and government relations manager. "If we hit our $70,000 goal, we will be the 7th most funded campaign of all time in the education category."
The fundraising event will take place from 6-10 p.m. Thursday at Straight to Ale on 3200 Leeman Ferry Road in Huntsville. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged through a QR code or off-line. Daniels said $1 of every pint sold will go toward the Land the STA campaign.

Live music from Microwave Dave and Alan Little will be available from 6:15-9:45 p.m., while Huntsville-area food trucks Crave Heat and Earth and Stone Wood-Fired Pizzas will provide dinner for guests. Bestselling "Rocket Boys" author Homer Hickam, a member of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center board, will sign books at the event.

Daniels said USSRC staff will be on hand to discuss the aircraft and its significance in astronaut training.

The G-II aircraft, a business jet converted by NASA as a shuttle astronaut training tool to land the Space Shuttle Orbiter, was acquired by the space center two years ago and is currently stationed at Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport.

Meeting its crowdfunding goal will give USSRC enough funds for site preparation and structural supports to install the training aircraft at Shuttle Park, which is home to Pathfinder, the world's only full-stack shuttle display

"The exhibition of the STA in Shuttle Park with Pathfinder and the T-38 Talon will be an awesome addition to a collection of artifacts and hardware that inspire students, parents and teachers every day," Daniels said. "It will also be the only place in the world where you can see the full-stack Orbiter, T-38 and STA all in the same place."

A quick by-the-numbers look at the Land the STA campaign: 
$32,425: Amount raised toward the campaign as of this morning.

18: Number of days left in the Indiegogo campaign.

163: Number of contributors to the campaign.

24: Number of states that have donated money to land the aircraft.

Four:  Number of other countries (France, Australia, Canada and United Kingdom) that have donated.

$300: A new $300-level campaign donation perk that includes a poster signed by shuttle astronauts, including Jim Halsell.

$5,000: The amount of money an anonymous donor has pledged to the campaign if USSRC can find a match of $5,000 by April 25.

Five: Number of local businesses and organizations that have teamed up with USSRC as community partners on this project.

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