Salute to the Pioneers of Space
posted in News on December 16, 2012 in News on 12/16/2012

Lunar Module Replica


A full-scale replica of the Apollo XVII Lunar Excursion Module Challenger is now on display in Hangar Bay One. Unveiled during our “Salute to the Pioneers of Space,” the replica serves as a tribute to all astronauts, engineers and key personnel of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, which propelled the United States to the lead in space exploration during the Cold War.

DVD and Blu Ray

To order your copy of “Salute to the Pioneers of Space” on Blu-Ray or DVD visit our online store. This set will include the evening reception with the unveiling of the Lunar Excursion Module,  the Apollo XIII and Mercury/ Gemini/Apollo panel discussions, and the luncheon with guest speakers Senator John Glenn and CAPT Eugene Cernan, USN (Ret.). If ordering the Blu-Ray edition, please ensure your player is BD-R compatible.

Event Photos

Panel Discussions


Lunar Module Unveiling


OMEGA Watches, Transition Tent and Fender Custom Guitar


Dinner Presentation


Salute to the Pioneers of Space a Monumental Success!

During our event December 14-15, 2012, we celebrated the achievements of the astronauts, engineers, scientists, and all others that contributed to success in the Space Race with a day of space-themed panels attended by over 1,200 visitors.

The day opened with a panel on the near-catastrophic flight of Apollo XIII, as told by the astronauts themselves. Apollo XIII commander James Lovell (retired Navy captain and fighter pilot) and Apollo XIII Lunar Module pilot Fred W. Haise (a Biloxi native, USMC and USAF fighter pilot and NASA research pilot) discussed the harrowing events of that mission with Gemini/Apollo flight director Eugene Kranz and NASA engineers/flight directors Glynn Lunney and Gerry Griffin, who were key in successfully bringing the crew home after an oxygen tank explosion crippled the Apollo XIII Command/Service module.

Next came a luncheon on the Museum’s USS Cabot Flight Deck featuring guest speakers Senator John Glenn (first American to orbit Earth, Marine fighter pilot, Senator and oldest man to fly in space) and CAPT Eugene Cernan, USN (Ret.) (commander of Apollo XVII and last man to walk on the Moon). After lunch, a panel of astronauts discussed the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, the challenges they overcame to take the lead in space exploration, and what the Space Race meant for America and American preeminence in science, technology and engineering. Panelists included astronauts Charlie Duke, Walter Cunningham, Richard Gordon, Tom Stafford, Eugene Cernan, and David Scott.

Finally, the Lunar Excursion Module replica was unveiled during a fundraising reception and dinner in Hangar Bay One and the Blue Angels Atrium. Featuring exemplary performances by Up With People, heartfelt rembrances by Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts, and a touching tribute to Neil Armstrong, the unveiling event was a momentous occasion.

Featured Articles

Read about the event at WEAR Abc 3  Posted 11/16/12
Read about the event at  Posted 11/29/12
Read about the event at WEAR Abc 3 Posted 11/29/12
Read about the event at Splash Magazine Posted 12/1/12
Read about the event at WEAR Abc 3 Posted 12/4/12

Event Articles

Read about the event at USA Today Posted 12/15/12
Read about the event at Posted 12/15/12

Panelists and Guest Speakers

CAPT Eugene Cernan, USN (Ret.) Col Walter Cunningham, USMC (Ret.) Brig Gen Charlie Duke, USAF (Ret.) Senator John Glenn
CAPT Eugene Cernan, USN (Ret.) Col Walter Cunningham, USMC (Ret.) Brig Gen Charlie Duke, USAF (Ret.) Senator John Glenn
CAPT Richard Gordon, USN (Ret.) Fred Haise CAPT James Lovell, USN (Ret.) Col David Scott, USAF (Ret.)
CAPT Richard Gordon, USN (Ret.) Fred Haise CAPT James Lovell, USN (Ret.) Col David Scott, USAF (Ret.)
LtGen Thomas Stafford, USAF(Ret.) Gerry Griffin Gene Kranz Glenn Lunney
LtGen Thomas Stafford, USAF (Ret.) Gerry Griffin Gene Kranz Glynn Lunney


Presenting Sponsor
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

Lunar Sponsors
The MacDougald Family

Apollo Sponsors
Delaware North
Splash! Magazine & GBN
Up With People
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Gemini Sponsors
Cat Country 98.7/NewsRadio 1620
The Lewis Bear Company
Sacred Heart Health System
Santa Rosa Island Authority

Mercury Sponsors
ABSee the Museum
Barefoot Wine
Cook Images
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide Pensacola Campus
Escambia County Sheriffs Office
Evergreen Printing
Gulf Power
L-3 Vertex Logistics Solutions

Freedom VII Sponsors
Appleyard Family Foundation
Bizzell, Neff & Galloway, PA
Executive Landscaping
Kelton Co.
Mitchell Proffitt Co.
Navy Federal Credit Union
University of West Florida


Lunar Excursion Module (LEM)

Apollo XIII

Mercury, Gemini, Apollo

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