Lost Spacecraft – Historical Experience
THE LOST SPACECRAFT: LIBERTY BELL 7 RECOVERED HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE
The content of Discovery Channel’s interactive traveling exhibit, The Lost Spacecraft: Liberty Bell 7Recovered, spans nearly 40 years of history and technological advancement and is organized into four acts: 1) At Home in 1961, 2) The Mission, 3) The Expedition, 4) Liberty Bell 7.
The exhibit is organized to allow visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in a marvelous piece of history by walking into and actually experiencing the environment of the time or place that is depicted as realistically as possible.
I. At Home in 1961
An early 1960s living room, complete with a brown Naugahyde sofa, a bi-level coffee table, wood paneling, floor-to-ceiling lamp and console TV with rabbit ears, welcomes visitors to the exhibit. Details of America’s race into space against the Soviet Union are set against this home-like environment. It’s the Cold War era. Project Mercury is getting underway. The United States is choosing its first seven astronauts, among them U.S. Air Force Capt. Virgil “Gus” Grissom, who became the second American in space.
II. The Mission
Via interactive displays, graphics, video and audio of the period, visitors get a firsthand, hands-on feel for the astronauts’ experiences. The Mission illustrates the years of training astronauts underwent to see if man could withstand the tremendous stresses of space flight. Here, a flight simulator, a centrifuge, rocket testing and capsule controls offer visitors a chance to see how the astronauts–and the thousands of people devoted to getting them into orbit–prepared for the launch and the flight of the Liberty Bell 7.
Launch day and Mission Control are re-created for a virtual walkthrough of the historic flight of the spacecraft. A coordinated multimedia presentation tracks the flight while a splashdown theater and helicopter replication relate the drama of the failed attempts to recover the capsule. Other remarkable artifacts on display are the flight suit and the helmet worn by helicopter rescue pilot Jim Lewis.
III. The Expedition
Visitors enter the modern-day portion of the exhibit via a gangway onto a replica of the expedition ship, Ocean Project. The voice of Curt Newport, renowned underwater search and recovery expert, guides visitors through the goals and challenges of the expedition, describing the research, the planning, the technology, the triumphs and the failures. There is an expedition log from the quest and an interactive device that lets visitors utilize the type of sonar Newport used to pinpoint the Liberty Bell 7 capsule. Artifacts on display from the search include Newport’s handwritten log; his custom-built lift clamps; and his good luck charm, a stuffed lamb named “Lammy,” that accompanied Newport on the recovery expedition. Other artifacts on display detail the restoration of the capsule, which illustrate the Herculean effort that went into bringing Liberty Bell 7 home.
IV. Liberty Bell 7
The Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft and its many artifacts tell their own story about their time in space and on the ocean floor. Courtesy of NASA, visitors have the exciting opportunity to view Grissom’s Mercury spacesuit gloves and a real Mercury hatch. The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center has also contributed a complete Apollo 1 spacesuit that may have been the one designed specifically for Grissom. Finally, visitors will see a tribute to Grissom, including accounts of his post-Liberty Bell 7 accomplishments, his untimely death in the Apollo I tragedy and his inspirational legacy.
To learn more about the mission, expedition and the exhibit, visit us at www.discovery.com
Evergreen Exhibitions, based in San Antonio, Texas, is a world leader in providing high quality, state-of-the-art, family educational experiences, and serves as a major development partner with more than 200 leading museums and research institutions. Evergreen Exhibitions is proud to work with Fortune 500 corporations such as Ford Motor Company, Pfizer Inc, IBM, TIME and others to bring blockbuster exhibits and events to people around the globe. In addition to the “The Lost Spacecraft: Liberty Bell 7 Recovered,” current exhibits include the award-winning The Robot Zoo; Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss; Theme Park: The Art & Science of Universal’s Islands of Adventure; Microbes: Invisible Invaders … Amazing Allies; Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats; EarthQuest: The Challenge Begins (retired); AFRICA: One Continent. Many Worlds; and Chicano Now : American Expressions.
Discovery Channel is one of the United States’ two largest cable television networks, serving 78 million households across the nation with the finest in informative entertainment. Discovery Networks, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery People, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Science Channel, Discovery Home & Leisure Channel, Discovery Civilization Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, and Discovery en Español. The unit also markets and distributes BBC America.
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Source: Evergreen Exhibitions