June 27, 2016

Indiana Astronaut Wall of Fame exhibit to feature Purdue artifacts

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University will partner with The Children's Museum of Indianapolis to supply 12 artifacts related to Purdue astronauts for the "Beyond Spaceship Earth" exhibition opening June 25.

The ongoing exhibit will feature the story of space exploration from NASA's Project Mercury, which sent the first astronauts into space, to the International Space Station. Purdue will provide the 12 items as part of the "Indiana Astronaut Wall of Fame" portion of the exhibit.

The items on loan include Janice Voss' report card; Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom's 1960 appointment calendar; Eugene Cernan's selection letter for astronaut training; slide rules used by Richard Covey and Guy Gardner; Mark Brown's "Jet Propulsion for Aerospace Applications" textbook; a photograph from the Apollo 11 mission that Brown kept on his dorm wall as a student; a U.S. flag flown aboard Gemini 8 mission crewed by Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott; Jerry Ross' STS-135 (final Space Shuttle Program mission) Astronaut Support Personnel Checklist; Roy Bridges Jr.'s Space Lab 2 (STS-51-F) cloth mission patch; Donald E. Williams's NASA medical certification for spaceflight laminated identification card; and a model of a lunar landing module with a mounted plaque inscribed "Neil A. Armstrong."

The artifacts are on loan courtesy of the Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives in the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center and Purdue University Libraries. For more information on the items, visit the Flight and Space Archives website.

The "Beyond Spaceship Earth" exhibition also will include a re-creation of portions of the International Space Station and a one-of-a-kind, immersive space object experience called the "Schaefer Planetarium & Space Object Theater." The theater will be an area where real space vehicles and equipment, a dynamic light-and-sound experience and key artifacts will help tell stories of missions, astronauts and events throughout the history of space exploration. It will open with the NASA Mercury capsule, the Liberty Bell 7, on display. Grissom, a Purdue graduate, piloted this spacecraft in 1961 on America's second manned space flight. 

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, mhuckaby@purdue.edu 

Sources: Tracy B. Grimm, Barron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration, 765-496-2941, grimm3@purdue.edu

Sammy Morris, head of Archives and Special Collections, 765-494-2905, morris18@purdue.edu 

Museum contact:

Kimberly Harms, director of media public relations at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, kimh@childrensmuseum.org

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