Adler Planetarium

Shoot for the Moon

About the Exhibition

Shoot for the Moon shares the story of America's first journey into space in the 1960s as told through the powerful narrative of Jim Lovell. It includes the personal stories of Lovell's initial failures to gain acceptance into the U.S. Naval Academy and NASA astronaut program, and his ultimate success as a space pioneer. Visitors will gain insights about the moments leading up to his Gemini missions and learn how Lovell and others risked their lives to advance scientific understanding when human space flight was still in its infancy.

The exhibition continues the story from the Gemini program to focus on the historic accomplishments of the hugely successful Apollo missions, which saw America reach its goal of landing a man on the Moon.  The exhibition's Moon Wall lets visitors explore the surface of the Moon using the latest images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) currently orbiting the Moon.

Featured in Shoot for the Moon

Gemini 12

Shoot for the Moon features the fully restored Gemini 12 spacecraft. Gemini 12 launched from Cape Canaveral on November 11, 1966. It was the tenth and final flight of the Gemini series, which bridged the Mercury and Apollo programs. This mission, carrying astronauts Jim Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, was scheduled to perform rendezvous and docking with the Agena target vehicle, to conduct three Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) operations, to conduct a tethered station keeping exercise, to perform docked maneuvers using Agena propulsion system to change orbit, and demonstrate an automatic reentry.  On November 15, 1966 the capsule successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean.

Recreate Your Own Gemini Splashdown

Sponsors and Partners


Powered by ComEd 

Sponsored by NBC Chicago