Apollo astronauts visit Chicago’s Adler Planetarium for a special exhibit addition

Starting this week, step into the NASA boots of Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell and Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison “Jack” Schmitt.

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The three made casts of their hands and boots for the on-going “Shoot for the Moon” exhibit at the Adler Planetarium where people can place their hands or feet inside the molds. The casts and other moon-themed activities are kicking off at the Adler to celebrate Apollo 17’s 40th anniversary.

The casts will go on display beginning this week as part of Adler’s celebration of Apollo 17’s 40th anniversary. Other “moon themed” activities are planned through Dec. 22, including a speaker series on “The Future of Space Exploration” that kicks off Dec. 15.

The ongoing “The Footsteps of Explorers” exhibit features simulations of lunar soil and allows participants to make rubbings of astronauts’ shoes through Dec. 1.

Apollo 17 launched on Dec. 7, 1972, and was the last of the Apollo missions. Cernan and Schmitt landed on the moon, where no one has been to since. Cernan was born in Chicago, and dedicated his molds to his parents.

In 1970, Lovell and his crew navigated the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft safely back to Earth after an oxygen tank explosion. Apollo 13 circled the moon but never landed. Lovell and his family own the Lovell’s of Lake Forest restaurant, opened in 1999.

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