Astronauts Lovell, Aldrin reunite for opening of Adler exhibit in Chicago

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium opens new permanent exhibit Nov. 11 on the 40th anniversary of the Gemini 12 mission

CHICAGO—It’s been 34 years since Chicagoan Eugene Cernan left the last footprints on the Moon, but we are quickly approaching the day when humans will return to the lunar surface. What role will you play in the next great space adventure? Find out in “Shoot for the Moon,” a new permanent exhibition at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

Shoot for the Moon highlights the exciting stories of space exploration and America’s bold plans to return to the Moon. Shoot for the Moon opens to the public on Veterans’ Day, Saturday, Nov. 11—the 40th anniversary of the Gemini 12 mission. General museum admission will be free for veterans and active military Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans’ Day.

“America’s plans to return to the Moon, NASA’s recent shuttle launches and some of the world’s first ‘space tourists’ are creating public interest in space exploration,” said Adler President Paul H. Knappenberger Jr., Ph.D. “We hope the Adler’s Shoot for the Moon exhibition makes space history more accessible to young visitors and inspires them to imagine their own futures as explorers.”

The exhibition begins with A Journey with Jim Lovell, featuring the fully-restored Gemini 12 spacecraft and the Lovell Collection of personal space artifacts. In Mission: Moon, young visitors discover the thrills and dangers of being an explorer and imagine their own futures in space. BRC Imagination Arts is designing and producing the Shoot for the Moon space exploration experience for the Adler Planetarium.

“Growing up near Chicago, the Adler inspired me to think about becoming a space explorer one day,” said Captain James A. Lovell Jr. “In turn, I hope this new exhibit introduces today’s young people to the thrill of space exploration and inspires them to become a part of humankind’s return to the Moon.”

The fully-restored Gemini 12 spacecraft, flown by Lovell and Dr. Buzz Aldrin in 1966, is the centerpiece of Shoot for the Moon. Lovell and Aldrin will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Gemini 12 mission at the Adler; and reunited with the Gemini 12 spacecraft for the first time since their historic mission in 1966, the two astronauts will dedicate the exhibition to the next generation of explorers.

“Every generation should have the opportunity to experience the wonders of space travel,” said Aldrin. “Exhibits like the Adler Planetarium’s Shoot for the Moon are a critical part of building public enthusiasm for NASA’s scientific and exploratory missions and the new space tourism market.”

The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum—America’s First Planetarium—was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. The museum is at 1300 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday (9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. the first Friday of the month); and 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday. For more information, visit or call (312) 922-STAR.

From the Nov. 8-14, 2006, issue

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