Triton College Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 17 Mission
The Cernan Earth and Space Center at Triton College is hosting a 50th anniversary Apollo 17 Mission exhibition beginning Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, and running through Saturday, April 8, 2023.
This event honors Capt. Eugene “Gene” Cernan, astronaut (United States Navy, Retired), and showcase what Capt. Cernan and the Apollo 17 crew (also including Ronald E. Evans and Harrison Schmitt) accomplished. At the conclusion of the mission, Capt. Cernan was the last astronaut to leave his footprints on the lunar surface.
Eugene A. Cernan was born on March 14, 1934, raised in Bellwood, Ill. (within Triton’s district), and attended Proviso Township High School. He then attended Purdue University and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Before becoming an astronaut, he was a naval officer, naval aviator, electrical engineer, aeronautical engineer and fighter pilot. Capt. Cernan passed away on Jan. 17, 2017, in Houston, Texas.
The five-month exhibit will include varied activities geared to educate young students as well as adults.
The highlight of the exhibit will include a lunar sample, aka Moon rock collected during the Apollo 17 mission. The Moon rock is encased within a lucite pyramid and sits atop a lighted pedestal, provided to Triton by NASA. This display will be viewable during normal business hours, including Saturday evenings. See below for exact times.
A permanent addition to the Cernan Center will be an interactive activity presented on a large, flat, touchscreen table. The table will be running Colonize Mars software in which users can work individually or together to develop a colony on Mars through several stages of objectives.
To complement the lunar sample, adjacent exhibits will examine lunar geology, the origin of the moon, equipment needed for living in space and Apollo in popular culture.
In the Planetarium, two different public programs will be offered: Dawn of the Space Age a historic retrospective from Sputnik to the Space Shuttle and the ISS and Forward! To the Moon about current goals to return humans to the lunar surface before this decade is out.
The Triton College Cernan Earth and Space Center hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. The Cernan Center is closed on Sundays.
Admission to the exhibits is FREE. Planetarium admission is $4 for youth ages 2-17 and seniors 55+, and $8 for adults.