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The University of Texas at Austin Texas Natural Science Center Texas Natural Science Center


Press Room

Press Release





TODAY’S DATE: May 25, 2006

CONTACT: Susan Romberg
Texas Memorial Museum (a part of the Texas Natural Science Center)

From the Moon to Texas! – Veteran newsman Walter Cronkite’s moon rock will be on display at UT’s Texas Memorial Museum June 1 – August 31, 2006.

Cronkite was honored in February by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with the prestigious Ambassador of Exploration Award for his coverage of America’s space program. He was presented with the only moon rock ever given to a non-astronaut or non-NASA individual. The rock came from the Apollo 11 space mission that put the first human on the moon.

Cronkite immediately donated the lunar sample to UT’s Center for American History (CAH), the archival home of the Walter Cronkite papers.

"We are delighted to have this opportunity to exhibit the lunar sample at the Texas Memorial Museum," said CAH director, Dr. Don Carleton. "TMM is an outstanding institution that will share this remarkable object with a wide audience."

The moon rock awarded to Cronkite is part of the 842 pounds of samples brought back to Earth during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972.

It is encased in Lucite and mounted and will be displayed at the Texas Memorial Museum with photos and text commemorating America’s space program. Information about the geologic makeup of the rock will also be provided in the exhibit.

“We are honored to display the Cronkite moon rock for public viewing,” said the Museum’s director, Dr. Ed Theriot. “This exhibit will recall the excitement of the space missions, especially the moon landings, for many, and give people information about the geologic makeup of the moon.”

Cronkite is the best-remembered journalist for his commentary and enthusiastic coverage of the historic progression of missions from the early Mercury launches through the groundbreaking Gemini missions to the Apollo 11 and subsequent moon landings. His marathon, live coverage of the first moon landing brought the excitement and impact of these historic events into the homes of millions of Americans and observers around the world.

Cronkite attended The University of Texas at Austin in the 1930s. He has been an adjunct faculty member in the College of Communication. Friends and supporters have endowed the Walter Cronkite Regents Chair in Communication, which at Cronkite’s request is reserved for the dean of the College of Communication.

The Texas Memorial Museum is part of the Texas Natural Science Center at The University of Texas at Austin. The Center’s mission: to encourage awareness and appreciation of the interplay of biological, geological and environmental forces as they have shaped, are shaping and will shape our world.
Regular museum hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Museum is located at 2400 Trinity Street (2 blocks north of the UT stadium).

For more information about the Texas Memorial Museum, visit www.TexasMemorialMuseum.org or contact Susan Romberg, 512/232-5654 or sromberg@mail.utexas.edu.

Information about NASA and agency programs may be viewed online at the NASA website: www.nasa.gov.


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