USS Yorktown forever linked to the U.S. space program after recovering Apollo 8 in 1968
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and ABC News 4 (WCIV-TV) are inviting families to watch as the mighty USS Yorktown, known to many as the “Fighting Lady,” is transformed into the “Shaded Lady” during the total solar eclipse on August 21.
The event titled, “Eclipse on a Warship” is included in the museum’s normal price of admission. Upon entry to the museum, the first 3,000 visitors will receive a free pair of specialized glasses designed to protect their eyes while viewing the eclipse. An indirect viewing method will also be offered on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown for those who want to avoid looking at the sun entirely.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Patriots Point is located within the path of totality. The path, which stretches from Oregon to Charleston Harbor, is where the moon will completely cover the sun. The USS Yorktown is expected to be in the dark around 2:46 p.m.
Before the eclipse occurs, Dr. Christian Iliadis, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will give a special presentation to explain the science of a solar eclipse. He will also be available throughout the day to answer questions and chat with astronomy enthusiasts.
Space inspired children’s activities will be offered by the Patriots Point Institute of History, Science and Technology, and NASA’s livestream coverage of the eclipse will be broadcast on a 20-foot projection screen in the Yorktown’s hangar deck.
The USS Yorktown is forever connected to the U.S. space program. In December 1968, the ship’s crew recovered the Apollo 8 space capsule after it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. The Apollo 8 astronauts were the first to orbit the moon and return to Earth. In 2014, Patriots Point opened an interactive exhibit that takes visitors on a simulated trip to the moon inside a full-scale replica capsule that plays actual radio communication recorded during the mission. The exhibit has become one of the most popular at the museum.