Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala

Galaxy Gala is a real blast, with out-of-this-world visitors, interstellar fashion show, celeb band

Galaxy Gala is a blast, with out-of-this-world visitors, celeb band

Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Jay Zeidman, Anat Zeidman, NASA Robonaut
Jay Zeidman, Anat Zeidman, and Robonaut. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Chuck Norris, Gena Norris, Gary Sinise
Chuck Norris, Gena Norris, Gary Sinise. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Scott Kelly, Amiko Kauderer
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, Amiko Kauderer. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Alice Mosing, Keith Mosing
Alice Mosing, Keith Mosing. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Dan Tutcher, Kim Tutcher
Dan Tutcher, Kim Tutcher. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, spacesuit collection fashion show
Spacesuit collection fashion show. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, spacesuit prototype NASA
This spacesuit prototype is an early generation of advanced spacesuit designs. This suit is lightweight, easier to move around in, and less costly.  Photo by Marcy de Luna
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Space Center Houston CEO William Harris, Misha Laird, Stephen Klimas
William Harris, Misha Laird, Stephen Klimas. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Gary Sinise playing in the Lt. Dan Band
Gary Sinise playing in the Lt. Dan Band. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Dr. Karen Chiao, Dr. Leroy Chiao
Dr. Karen Chiao, Dr. Leroy Chiao. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Haley Leffler, Chris Calkins
Haley Leffler, Chris Calkins. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Anthony Alessi, Ann Parks Stallings
Anthony Alessi, Ann Parks Stallings. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Veronica Liskova, John Poindexter
Veronica Liskova, John Poindexter. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Trini Reed, Nate Reed
Trini Reed, Nate Reed. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Jay Zeidman, Anat Zeidman, NASA Robonaut
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Chuck Norris, Gena Norris, Gary Sinise
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Scott Kelly, Amiko Kauderer
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Alice Mosing, Keith Mosing
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Dan Tutcher, Kim Tutcher
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, spacesuit collection fashion show
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, spacesuit prototype NASA
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Space Center Houston CEO William Harris, Misha Laird, Stephen Klimas
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Gary Sinise playing in the Lt. Dan Band
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Dr. Karen Chiao, Dr. Leroy Chiao
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Haley Leffler, Chris Calkins
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Anthony Alessi, Ann Parks Stallings
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Veronica Liskova, John Poindexter
Houston, Space Center Houston Galaxy Gala, April 2017, Trini Reed, Nate Reed

Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a stellar fundraiser at the Hilton Americas-Houston. The nonprofit, which opened in 1992, is dedicated to inspiring people, including underserved students, with hands-on science learning.

The “Galaxy Gala" was led by chairs Keith and Alice Mosing, along with co-chairs Kim and Dan Tutcher and honorary chairs astronaut Scott Kelly, his girlfriend Amiko Kauderer, and astronaut Mark Kelly and his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

More than 600 guests entered the cocktail reception area to find an awe-inspiring collection of Space Center Houston and NASA Johnson Space Center artifacts, boasting items like Robonaut, a robot designed to work alongside astronauts and replace them in dangerous situations (Robonaut "R2" is currently at the International Space Station), a space garden chamber used to grow seeds via special LED lights, and a rare meteorite.

Once seated inside the ballroom, the crowd was treated to an appearance by Expedition 50 NASA astronauts commander Shane Kimbrough and flight engineer Peggy Whitson. Both are currently living and working aboard the International Space Station and streamed in to share their support of the organization. “I understand that more than a million people visit Space Center Houston each year. One of the surest ways to inspire the next generation, is to capture their imagination early,” Kimbrough said.

“The cause of inspiration and education will continue to make Houston a great and diverse community. Congratulations to Space Center Houston on this tremendous milestone. We’ll see you back on earth real soon,” Whitson added. 

An interstellar fashion show followed. Narrated by astronaut Mike Foreman and Johnson Space Center associate director Melanie Saunders, the collection featured several space suits, including an Orion prototype, launch and entry suits, planetary surface exploration suits, and three space suit replicas handpainted by young cancer patients participating in the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital’s Space Suit Art Project. 

As though the evening wasn't already a blast, Golden Globe award-winning actor Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band hit the stage for an energized set of rock tunes. The cover band was co-founded by Sinise to raise money for disabled veterans.

The out-of-this-world evening, which honored longtime supporters Susie and Pat Cunningham for their significant contributions to the center, raised more than $850,000 for the STEM education programs of Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, a nonprofit science and space learning center with Space Center Houston as the cornerstone of its education mission.

Guests included president and CEO of Space Center Houston William T. Harris, Johnson Space Center director and astronaut Ellen Ochoa (who was the first Hispanic woman to go into space), retired Gemini and Apollo flight director Gene Kranz, Bob Behnken, Walt and Dot Cunningham, Betsy and Fred Griffin,  Lisa and Jerry Simon, Gena and Chuck Norris, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Joan and Larry Del Papa, Leslie and Adam Schneider, Joy and Stewart Morris Jr., Lorrie Foreman, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Walter Johnson, Ann Parks Stallings, Judy Oudt, Lacy Baird, and Sara Leighton.