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Roddenberry to Lead Fundraiser

Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, chief executive of Roddenberry Entertainment and executive producer of the “Star Trek” franchise, will serve as the honorary chairman of the Flight Test Museum Foundation’s annual fundraiser. 

The “Gathering of Eagles” event will recognize exemplary aviators, including two NASA astronauts. 

It takes place at 6 p.m. in Saturday, Nov. 12 at the H.W. Hunter Pavilion of the Antelope Valley Fair and Event Center in Lancaster. Tickets are $150 each.

The foundation, based in Edwards, is a nonprofit that is building the only museum in the world dedicated to test pilots and experimental aircraft and spacecraft. 

“Our national mission is to honor technological advances made by test pilots, preserve rare aircraft and spacecraft developed in the Aerospace Valley, and inspire the next generation through the future museum’s STEM education programs,” Art Thompson, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, said in a statement.

Roddenberry, in addition to serving as the chief executive of Roddenberry Entertainment, which develops a multimedia slate of projects spanning film, television, graphic novels, comic strips, podcasts and other mediums, is an executive producer of the television series “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Star Trek: Picard,” and the animated show “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” all of which stream on Paramount Plus.

During the Lancaster event, Roddenberry will hold a conversation with Bill “Evil” Gray, chief test pilot at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, who is the master of ceremonies.

Also during the event, the foundation’s Eagle Award, which is given in recognition of significant achievement in flight testing, will be given to NASA astronauts Fred Haise and Pamela A. Melroy and to Todd “Leif” Ericson, the mission director of Polaris Dawn and test pilot for the Air Force and Virgin Galactic.

Additionally, the event will feature a panel discussion with Donald L. Mallick, a Navy pilot and research pilot for NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center; Kelly Latimer, Air Force and Virgin Galactic test pilot, director of test flight at Virgin Galactic, and the first female research pilot for NASA Armstrong; Jared “Rook” Isaacman, chief executive of Draken International and Shift4, and commander of Inspiration4 and Polaris Dawn; and Wesley R. Persall, flight test engineer for the Air Force and Scaled Composites and principal test engineer for Blue Origin and The Spaceship Co.

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