Fifty years after being returned from the moon, a small moon rock has moved from the “Greatest Ideas on Earth” to the “Show Me State.”
NASA unveiled the moon rock at the Space Museum and Grissom Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri on Saturday (April 2), 15 years after it was first placed on display at Epcot. theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. On both occasions, the lunar show was held in honor of Virgil “Gus” Grissom, the second United States to fly in the air.
“The Space Museum and Grissom Center are the new home of Gus Grissom’s Ambassador of Exploration Award that received a real moon rock from Apollo 16!” the museum announced in its social media reports Saturday. “Come see one of the only two moon rocks in Missouri!”
As established by NASA on the 35th anniversary of the first landing of the moon Apollo in 2004, the Ambassador of Exploration Award celebrates the “fulfillment of a vision” that began with the presidential race. to the nation in 1961 and resulted in the first humans walking on the lunar surface before a decade had passed. NASA members of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, as well as President John F. Kennedy and ancient historian Walter Cronkite, were honored.
Gus Grissom: The second American in the air
The gift features a 2-gram (0.07 ounce) moonstone placed in a lucite cylinder placed on a base. In the case of Grissom, the example of the moon from Apollo 16, which landed on Charles Duke and Grissom’s Gemini 3 crewmate John Young on the moon at Descartes Highlands on April 21, 1972, 50 years ago .
Saturday’s revelation came on the embarrassing day of Grissom’s 96th birthday. One of seven astronauts, Grissom flew NASA’s second Mercury suborbital spacecraft in 1961 and commanded the first Gemini mission in 1965 before he and his two colleagues died. Apollo 1 caught fire during a launchpad test in 1967.
While the Ambassador of Exploration Award is given in name only – the moonstone is a NASA property – the recipient or their family is invited to choose where it will be displayed, as it is a museum and Education industry and can meet NASA safety requirements.
Grissom’s widow, Betty, first chose Disney’s Epcot to show off her late husband’s gift. In 2007, the theme park began featuring moonstone as part of its “National Treasures” show in The American Adventure, part of Epcot’s World Showcase. The gift was placed next to a portrait of Grissom and close to other photographers, with the flying costume worn by John Herrington, the American astronaut.
The “National Treasures” exhibition was closed, however, in 2013, it led to the removal of the moonstone. When Betty Grissom died in 2018, Lowell Grissom, Gus ’sister and consultant at the Space Museum, chose the Bonne Terre building as a new home for the American Gift.
The moon on Earth: Where are NASA’s lunar rocks now?
“Lowell had a choice, and the fact that he and his family chose Bonne Terre to honor Gus, well, that speaks very well for us,” said Earl Mullins, founder and founder. president of The Space Museum, in the Daily Journal.
Bob Jacobs, NASA’s director of history and data services, traveled to the company’s headquarters in Washington, DC, Missouri to do the demonstration.
“It is an honor to present the award to Gus Grissom’s Ambassador of Exploration moon rock with his brother Lowell and his wife Bobette at the Space Museum in Bonne Terre,” Jacobs said. wrote on Twitter.
“A lot of people are excited to explore everywhere,” Jacobs added any tweet.
The moonstone is one of the largest sculptures on display at The Space Museum, born out of Mullins’ personal collection. Next month’s highlights in the state will be the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 donations, hosted by the State Museum in Jefferson City.
“Of course, we’re really happy that NASA sees us as an ideal museum and they’re giving us something that can’t be changed,” Mullins said. “As per their request, we need to put in place special security systems and surveillance to make this possible.”
Today, NASA agreed to display the 35 Ambassador of Exploration awards at cultural institutions and universities in the United States. Six honorees await the show, including astronauts Bill Anders, Alan Bean, Ron Evans, Rusty Schweickart and Harrison Schmitt.
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