Michelle Nichols, master educator at the planetarium, said that the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11's moon landing has sparked a new interest in space exploration.
"It has been amazing," said Nichols. "Everyone wants to come down on such a momentous anniversary. It is sad that it is such a high number -- 40th anniversary -- that we [still] haven't been back [to the moon] yet, but we do know we have a goal that we are going back by the year 2020."
In celebration of man's landing on the moon, there are new attractions and exhibits available at the planetarium including an interactive moon wall.
"What has been really cool is seeing people interact with our moon wall. [The moon wall] is providing imagery of the moon that people can fly right over on a screen that is 13 feet wide and 6 feet tall. It is really a wonderful sensory experience [and] visual experience that everyone has just found a lot of fun," said Nichols.
The planetarium's "Shoot for the Moon" gallery offers many exhibits on space exploration and even a game that will allow the public to feel what it would be like to jump on the moon. The planetarium has also set up a place where visitors can write to the astronauts of Apollo 11.
South Holland native Luke Scott was at the Planetarium with his grandchildren to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. He said he fondly remembers the TV broadcast of man landing on the moon in 1969.
"The main thing I remember is going outside and looking at the moon and realizing that there were actually men on [the moon]. It was an amazing thing to realize that there were actually people up there on the moon," said Scott.
The "Shoot for the Moon" gallery is open daily from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Adler Planetarium.
For more information on the Adler Planetarium visit www.adlerplanetarium.org
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605