On March 25, 2018, American hero and former NASA astronaut Captain Jim Lovell celebrated his 90th birthday. As a veteran of four spaceflights, he inspires generations to look up, explore, and achieve the impossible. Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is asking the public to write notes to share how his story has encouraged them to pursue their dreams and say thank you for everything Captain Lovell has done.
Those wishing to share their Captain Lovell stories can send the Adler a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the year, guests visiting the Adler can submit their inspirational stories in the Letters to Lovell mailbox located in the Mission Moon gallery. The letters will be shared with Captain Lovell and his family.
Captain Lovell is a lifetime trustee of the planetarium, and has been part of the Adler family for many years. In 2005, he generously donated many of his personal effects from his storied career to the Adler’s collection, enabling guests a unique glimpse into the lives of those that took America’s first steps into space. The Adler’s Mission Moon exhibition tells the story of the early days of American spaceflight and features many of the artifacts Captain Lovell so graciously donated.
Captain Lovell is best known for his courageous role as commander of the Apollo 13 mission, upon which the award winning movie is based. He also piloted Apollo 8, man’s maiden voyage to the moon, where he and fellow crewmen were the first humans to leave Earth’s gravitational influence- a mission that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Lovell is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon, and is the only one to have flown there twice without making a landing. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
On September 8, 2018, The Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium will honor Captain Lovell at Celestial Ball, their biggest fundraising event of the year. The Adler will use the public’s inspirational stories as part of its tribute to Captain Lovell.
Later in the year, the Adler will announce special programming around the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission.