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Hubble Astronaut to Land in Central Ohio; All-American Hero Will 'Launch' a Weekend of Space Exploration.

MT. STERLING, Ohio -- With the Hubble makeover mission completed, Kennedy Space Center is turning its attention to launching a "satellite exchange program" in the heartland with help from a Hubble veteran and all-American space hero. Story Musgrave, the 1993 Hubble Space Telescope mission's lead repairman, along with fellow astronaut Norm Thagard, who spent more than three months on the Russian space station Mir in 1995, will land in central Ohio next week for the first-ever Midwestern Astronaut Encounter.

The event, scheduled for March 23-24 at Deer Creek Resort and Conference Center near Columbus, will give area families the opportunity to learn about space exploration from the experts and enjoy a unique family getaway. Musgrave and Thagard will offer families a first-person account of their space travels, showcase authentic artifacts and videos, conduct mission briefings and participate in question-and-answer sessions. Additionally, the astronauts will lead interactive educational activities for kids, such as building and launching air rockets, dine with the families and host informal meetings with opportunities for autographs and personal photos. The weekend will conclude with a prize drawing for a one-week visit to Kennedy Space Camp.

"Many families are looking for unique travel experiences closer to home this year," said Bill Brown, Deer Creek's general manager. "This vacation experience will bring the excitement of the NASA Space Program and two of our national heroes from the launch pad to the heartland, creating a truly once- in-a-lifetime event for Midwesterners."

Astronaut Encounter is designed to educate and promote the continual exploration of space in a recreational environment. Deer Creek is offering a special family package of $359 for the weekend, covering one night's lodging, a welcome reception and three meals for a family of four.

Deer Creek Resort and Conference Center, operated by Delaware North Park Services, a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies Inc. (DNC), recently earned AAA's three-diamond rating, recognizing the resort's recent building and services enhancements. Deer Creek is the only Ohio State Park lodging facility to earn a three-diamond rating from AAA.

For more information about Astronaut Encounter, call Deer Creek toll-free at 877-678-DEER or visit the Web site at http://www.visitdeercreek.com/ .

About Delaware North Park Services

Delaware North Park Services is one of the fastest growing providers of recreational visitors' services in the United States. The company's expertise includes the operation of a broad range of hotels and restaurants, retail stores, tours, educational programs and leisure activities. The company serves as guardians of such national treasures as Yosemite and Sequoia national parks, Grand Canyon, Kennedy Space Center, Niagara Falls, Roaring River, Jones Beach, Robert Moses, Captree and Deer Creek state parks and the Asilomar Conference Grounds and Jetty Maritime Park.

CONTACT: Melissa Lackey of The Standing Partnership, +1-314-469-3500, or Bill Brown of Deer Creek Resort and Conference Center, +1-740-869-2020, ext. 3002, both for Delaware North Park Services

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Contact: Melissa Lackey of The Standing Partnership, +1-314-469-3500, or Bill Brown of Deer Creek Resort and Conference Center, +1-740-869-2020, ext. 3002, both for Delaware North Park Services

Website: http://www.visitdeercreek.com/
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 15, 2002
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