BELLEVILLE (WWJ/AP) – The Yankee Air Museum in Belleville is welcoming a traveling NASA exhibit as well as one of the space agency’s former shuttle commanders.

Michigan native Jack Lousma is scheduled to be at the exhibit’s opening on Saturday for the “NASA Fly Me to the Moon Launch Party” from 5 to 9 p.m. Events during the party include a shuttle repair station, astronomy observation station, velcro wall, bungee run and Moonwalk.

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The event marks another step in the museum’s rebirth after a 2004 fire destroyed the historic hangar housing the museum and its artifacts at Willow Run Airport.

In the years since, supporters have held fundraisers to redevelop the museum and its collections in a 10,000-square-foot facility. Lousma often helps raise funds for the museum.

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“It’s rewarding because it makes you feel that you’re contributing to some young person’s future,” said Lousma.

The “NASA Fly Me to the Moon Exhibit” will be at the museum through May 10. For more information, visit

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