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Friday, July 17, 2009

Cosmosphere Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Moon Landing

On July 20, 1969, at 2:17 p.m., Apollo 11 landed on the moon. It remains one of man's greatest achievements of all time. The Cosmosphere will celebrate the 40th anniversary of this milestone Monday with a number of different activities. Most are free to the public.
OPENING OF "REFLECTIONS: IMAGES OF APOLLO"Photographs and messages from Apollo astronauts and Mission Control personnel sharing their thoughts, quotes and poems inspired by that era. This is the first showing of this exhibit inside the United States. (see additional information below)
OPENING OF NEW APOLLO ARTIFACT EXHIBIT"Gotcha" gifts given to Guenter Wendt, Pad Leader for Apollo 11, by Neil Armstrong and his crewmates on launch day.
FREE SCREENINGS OF APOLLO DOCUMENTARIESShowings at 10 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM, and 4 PM in Discovery RoomWonder of it All Live from the Moon
IMAX FILM - MAGNIFICENT DESOLATIONShowing at 10 AM, 12 PM, 4 PM and 6 PM. Tom Hanks captures the experience of walking on the moon in this IMAX classic. Get your 40% discount on tickets at the front desk for this film showing in the IMAX Theater.
KIDS' COLORING AREAMain lobby: color a reproduced Apollo-era coloring page.
CAKE AND LIQUID OXYGEN ICE CREAMCake will be cut at 2:17 PM in the main lobby. Enjoy cake, Tang-flavored liquid oxygen ice cream, and other refreshments.
SHARE YOUR MEMORIESShare your memories of the Apollo landings. Come in and record your memories on video of the Apollo landing so your thoughts on the significance of that amazing event can be preserved for posterity and shared with others. You can also go to http://www.cosmo.org/moonlanding/ and write on the moon landing memories blog at any time.
Reflections: Images of Apollo In honor of the 40th anniversary of man walking on the moon, The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is hosting, "Reflections: Images of Apollo," a unique photo exhibit from Space Collector, Leslie Cantwell. This is the first time these inscribed photographs have been seen in the United States.
Gathered personally by Mr. Cantwell, this exhibit features 100, large-scale, official NASA photographs inscribed by the astronauts and others involved with the missions. This is the largest collection of its kind, and the Cosmosphere is pleased to be chosen as the first place Cantwell has allowed to exhibit the photos in the US.
The collection includes not only autographs, but also lengthy inscriptions by many of the astronauts. Some capture funny exchanges that occurred at the time, others feature text from the great writers and poets throughout history, and some include descriptions of chilling moments of the space program.
It's rare to have even a signature from astronauts John Young, Buzz Aldrin or Michael Collins, but in this collection they have also written lengthy personal inscriptions on the photos. This collection is a tribute to the Apollo program and its extraordinary achievements.
In addition to those listed above, also included are photos signed by Alan Bean, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Harrison Schmitt, Gene Kranz, and Gene Cernan, as well as many others. Walter Cunningham, Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 7, is quoted as saying, "These are rare and unique pictures from a unique time in the history of the world."
Cantwell's interest in the US Space program started in 1981 when he met moonwalker Jim Irwin in Germany. Irwin inscribed a photo of a man standing on the moon with the words, "with love from the moon." Cantwell put it aside, but when he rediscovered the photo 10 years later, it ignited an interest in this history and he began pursuing other photos.
The decision to combine the 16" X 20" photos with handwritten text from those involved takes the photo beyond visual art. Cantwell is preserving an important part of our history like no one else has and is promoting the achievements of the American space program to a new generation.
The original photographs will be on display at the Cosmosphere beginning on July 20, the 40th anniversary of the moon landing.

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