A unique historical item that goes back to the Mercury astronaut program—America’s first step in putting man in space—has been donated to AiG’s future Creation Museum and Family Discovery Center near Cincinnati, Ohio, USA! A planetarium projector that was used from 1958 through 1963 to train the Mercury astronauts (such as John Glenn) for 25 space flights was given to AiG recently by ministry friend John Dilday of North Carolina. This “A3P Star and Planet” Spitz projector will allow AiG to conduct its own planetarium programs—in a specially designed room—when the museum opens in about two years. Museum visitors will be able to enjoy and learn stronomy and cosmology from a Biblical perspective!
This Spitz A3P projector was in active use by the US military for training in celestial navigation until last fall. With the advent of global positioning satellites and other navigation aids, the Army no longer needs to simulate an accurate night sky.
The donated projector can accurately simulate the night sky at any date and time as it projects (overhead) almost 2,000 stars, 7 planets, the sun, and the moon on a emispherical (domed) screen. Another exciting aspect to this donation is that the projector, built in 1956, is in very good condition, having been refurbished a few years ago at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. (A refurbishing at the University of Wyoming planetarium last year on a similar Spitz projector cost $175,000.) Fortunately, ongoing maintenance on the projector can be provided by a surprising number of companies.
AiG has already collected about $7 million in materials that are potential museum exhibits. This includes numerous large displays built originally for the columbus Center in Baltimore that AiG purchased at auction for only $19,000 (estimated worth: $5 million)! Please continue to pray for AiG as it raises the money to finish the shell of the museum complex by the end of this year ($3.01 million is needed to complete phase 2 of the museum project). The museum and new headquarters will be constructed without taking out a mortgage or construction loan—it will be built as donations of cash and services (e.g. construction-related companies who donate a portion or all of their labor and materials) come in. You can donate securely online and designate for the museum. If you have an item of historic interest that you may want to offer the museum, please let us know. If you are in a construction trade (or know of someone who is) and would like to volunteer your talents, equipment or building materials, please send an e-mail to our Gifts In Kind coordinator.