Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s UK team welcome Veteran Astronaut Bruce Melnick to the UK

The Final week of January witnessed Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s UK team welcome Veteran Astronaut Bruce Melnick to the UK.

Bruce flew on two Space Shuttle flights as part of crews on Discovery STS -41 in 1990 and STS-49 in 1992, the maiden Flight of Endeavour. He is currently the Resident Astronaut at the Visitor complex and often participates in the numerous Astronaut lead experiences including Char with an Astronaut, Astronaut Encounter and the recently returned Fly with an Astronaut. A packed itinerary saw us make a number of Radio and TV interviews including appearances on Kay Burleys Sky News show, ITVs Lorraine where Bruce spoke of his experiences in flight, something Lorraine herself became involved with in 2019 when she experienced weightlessness on a “Vomit Comet” high above the Californian desert. Bruce also appeared on BBC Newsround, and a host of Radio stations including BBC Regional stations, Radio London @ Broadcasting House and Times Radio.

Across the Travel trade we met with 25 Key Sales & Marketing staff from Attraction / DoSomething at their Brixton Head office where we shared Pizza and stories over a long lunch with signings and photo opportunities, this was preceded with an interview with Trade Social Media Platform Hablo at their offices in North Greenwich, CEO Russell Meara interviewed Bruce

A Signature Trade Dinner @ the Ivy was hosted alongside Key Trade and Media Partners including Virgin Atlantic Holidays,, Attractionworld, Ocean Holidays, Trailfinders and Dnata and CEO of the VisitUSA  CEO Kate Kenward. Bruce spoke about his time in Space alongside stories from his career with the National Coast guard as a search and rescue pilot.

Mid week we departed London for Birmingham Meeting with the US Attractions team at Attractionworld in Birmingham followed by a dedicated “Chat with an Astronaut” experience with their Staff and numerous independent agents and Florida Tix Competition winners. KSCs Global sales Manager Frank Da Costa gave an uplifting overview of KSC followed by Bruce Melnick who captivated the assembled guests with stories from his time in space aboard 2 Space Shuttle flights.

On Thursday we moved onto Manchester and in conjunction with Virgin Atlantic, we hosted a wonderfully illuminating evening at the Vue Cinema in Central Manchester which saw over 80 guests from the Trade across the north west, including Gold Medal, On the Beach, Destinology and Trailfinders sit riveted to their seats while Bruce illustrated his time in space with a presentation on the giant screen at the Print works venue. Mel Wood, Senior Account Manager and her team from Virgin also wowed the audience with updates including the successful launch of the airlines new A330Neo Aircraft on routes to USA, Florida and beyond.

Bruce and the Kennedy Space Center Team returned to Florida as the week drew to a close, taking many memories of the UK Travel Trade with them. Many memories remained here of course, it’s not everyday you get to meet an astronaut!, UK account Account Director Philip Britton concluded by saying…..

“Everytime we bring an Astronaut to the UK, the experience is remembered fondly by everyone who is lucky enough to meet a real life Spaceman!, it’s always a pleasure to work so closely with the trade and showcase the merits of a full day at Kennedy Space Center for everyone travelling to Florida”

Posted on: 31/01/2023

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