To space and beyond. Unless your group consists of former astronauts who are also current members of the U.S. Senate, NASA is unlikely to let you to hold your next corporate event on the space shuttle. However, you can get close enough to feel the thunder of the shuttle's rocket boosters, thanks to the corporate hospitality program of the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Founded six weeks after the 1986 Challenger accident, the AMF is a not-for-profit organization that built and now maintains two facilities--the Space Mirror Memorial and the Center for Space Education. Both are part of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Along with seeing the Columbia, Endeavor, Discovery, or Atlantis blast off, your group can also arrange for a pre-launch briefing from NASA scientists and engineers, presentations from former astronauts, tours of the space center, viewings of an IMAX orientation film, and themed gift packages. Companies can host meal functions at the 44,000-square-foot education center, and the center can make arrangements for hotel packages and ground transportation.

For more information, contact Terry Greenhalgh at (407) 452-2778 or

* The Motivation Show, the combination of the 27th Incentive Travel & Meeting Executives (IT&ME) Show and the 66th National Premium/Incentive Show, returns to Chicago's McCormick Place from Sept. 21 to 23. And back for its 22nd year will be the PGI Pizzathon, set for Wednesday, Sept. 22, from 7 p.m. until closing at the Hangge-Uppe bar in the city's Rush Street area. Pack your jeans and comfortable shoes if you want to make the most of this traditional kick-back networking party. PGI is the events and communications company based in Arlington, Va. Officially opening the show again this year is the Intra-Industry Networking Reception, cosponsored by the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives and set for Sept. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. For information, call SITE at (212) 575-0910.

* The Baldridge Awardwinning Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. has announced a new training program, called Ritz-Carlton Learning Institute, to teach the company's award-winning service strategies to corporations. Certified trainers, ranging from corporate vice presidents to experienced dining room waitstaff, will give the presentations, which can be tailored to the individual company's needs. Classes will be conducted on-site at any of Ritz-Carlton's 36 hotels or at the company's offices, and will include such subjects as the Ritz-Carlton philosophy, total quality management criteria for the Malcolm Baldridge Award, and customer service excellence. For more information, contact Shelly Marlow at (949) 589-5266.