The Life & Adventures of Deke Slayton
Donald Kent “Deke” Slayton (March 1, 1924 – June 13, 1993) was one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts. After initially being grounded by a heart murmur, he served as NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations, making him responsible for crew assignments at NASA from November 1963 until March 1972. At that time he was granted medical clearance to fly as the docking module pilot of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. At the age of 51, he became the oldest person to fly into space. This record was surpassed decades later by his NASA classmate John Glenn, at the age of 77, on STS-95.
This Permanent biographical exhibit examines the accomplishments of Monroe County’s most famous son – before, during and after his crucial years with the National Aeronautic & Space Administration (NASA). Deke was born in a hospital in Sparta, WI, he then grew up on a farm south of Sparta near the community of Leon. He graduated from Sparta High School.
A New Freedom:
The Bicycle Revolution in America
The look and feel of the bicycle has undergone dramatic changes throughout its history. This permanent exhibit examines the evolution of the bike from its early European influences to the modern-day racing models. A very recent bicycle donated to the museum is a tandom trans-continental bicycle that holds the record for crossing the United States in 7 days and 14 hours. Read full story – click on Exhibits/Bicycling (top of page).
Where Eagles Soar
Monroe County Aviation History
This is a permanent exhibit exploring the County’s rich history of pilots and their exciting stories. This exhibit is a must-see for anyone interested in aviation history. The permanent exhibit includes a quarter scale model of the Wright Flyer A trip to the Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bicycle Museum is fun for the whole family.
The Museum features: Quarterly guest displays * Permanent exhibits and games * The Rockets & Sprockets Gift shop and Visitor Information. *Children’s area with loft and dress up space clothes, hands on exhibits