Chicago’s Adler Planetarium to honor astronaut Jim Lovell

CHICAGO — Astronaut Jim Lovell will be the recipient this week of a lifetime achievement award from Chicago’s Adler Planetarium.

The award for Lovell, announced Wednesday, is to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission and celebrate Lovell’s legacy.

Had Neil Armstrong been sick on July 16, 1969, Lovell, his backup, would have been shot into space in Apollo 11 and taken “one giant leap for mankind.” Instead he watched the launch with famed aviator Charles Lindbergh.

Lovell came close to walking the lunar surface as commander of Apollo 13. But an onboard explosion stopped that.

The 90-year-old Lovell has his own exhibit at Adler called Mission Moon. It tells the story of the Gemini and Apollo missions through the eyes of Lovell, featuring pieces from his personal collection, such as his NASA flight suit and salvaged items from Apollo 13, including mission manuals.

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