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Naval & Maritime Museum Will Celebrate USS Yorktown’s Recovery of the Apollo 8 Capsule
Special space-related activities planned for families and space enthusiasts on Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 pm.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will host a special Space Day to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the USS Yorktown’s recovery of the Apollo 8 space capsule. The museum will offer family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that relate to space and the Apollo 8 mission.
Space Day will be included in the normal price of admission. As always, children under the age of six are free. Visitors may board a replica of the Apollo 8 space capsule that, through the use historic video and an advanced sound system, simulates the 1968 trip around the moon. Additional highlights of Space Day include the premier of an exclusive Patriots Point interview with member of the three-astronaut Apollo 8 crew Capt. James Lovell, and a chance to see pieces of a real meteorite. Patriots Point’s education team will offer a limited amount of free virtual reality (VR) experiences. The VR experience will be an abridged version of the” Journey to Planet X” program that is offered to overnight camping and education groups.
“Space is a topic that fascinates so many people, and we have a major piece of space history sitting here on display in Charleston Harbor,” said Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum Executive Director Mac Burdette. “Billions of people around the world were glued to the 1968 coverage of the Apollo 8 mission. It was a much needed success in the tumultuous year of 1968. We hope that families enjoy this special day and children leave inspired to learn more about science, technology, history and space exploration.”
Visitors who attend Space Day will have a chance to meet Robert Coggins, a member of the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team (UDT). The UDT dropped from helicopters into the sea to attach an inflatable collar around the Apollo 8 capsule and help the space crew climb into a raft. Coggins will sign photos and speak about his role in the space crew’s recovery.
The Apollo 8 mission was a major success for the United States in the race to beat the Russians to the moon. Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first men to ever complete a lunar orbit and return safely to Earth. The USS Yorktown recovered the crew and capsule in the Pacific Ocean on December 27, 1968. Upon boarding the ship, the three men were examined by doctors and then took calls from world leaders who congratulated them on the historic accomplishment.
About Patriots Point
Patriots Point, on the Charleston Harbor in Mount Pleasant, S.C., is home of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, and the only Vietnam Support Base Camp in the U.S. Patriots Point is also headquarters to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the agency’s official Medal of Honor Museum. Visit www.patriotspoint.org for more details, or find us at @patriots_point on Twitter and Instagram, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/PatriotsPoint.org.
About the USS Yorktown Foundation
The USS Yorktown Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization is dedicated to raising funds to provide scholarships for educational programs at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, as well as supporting new exhibits, symposiums and special programs. The Foundation’s mission is “to cultivate a unique learning environment that connects generations by celebrating America’s history and its heroes, inspiring freedom, patriotism, leadership and service”. For more information, please visit www.USSYorktownFoundation.org or call 843.881.5925.