On select weekends this summer, the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) is offering exclusive, two-and-a-half-hour-long, private group tours of the U-505 exhibit before the M.S.I. opens to the public. The “U-505 In-Depth Experience” tours start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, 2018; Sunday, July 1, 2018; Saturday, July 21, 2018; Sunday, August 5, 2018; and Saturday, August 25, 2018. First, coffee and tea will be served. Next, there will be an in-depth guided tour of the exhibit. Then, there will an interactive on-board tour of the U-boat.
After these tours, there will be time to explore the exhibit before the Museum of Science and Industry opens to the public. United States Navy submarine veterans will be on hand to answer questions and share stories about serving aboard modern submarines.
This experience requires a $40 ticket separate from a Museum Entry (general admission) ticket, which is also required to attend. Plan to arrive at 7:45 a.m. because it takes some time to reach the U-505 exhibit hall and then descend to the Lower Level.
This experience is for adults, teenagers, and children age ten and over. Please keep in mind while the 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall surrounding the U-505 is wheelchair-accessible, the same cannot be said of the U-505 herself.
Figure 1 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is the Forward Torpedo Room of the U-505.
Now through September 3rd, the M.S.I. is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Thursday, July 19, 2018. On September 4th, the M.S.I. will revert to regular hours (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). On Sunday, September 23, 2018, the M.S.I. will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and on Saturday, October 6, 2018, will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; and on the weekend of Saturday, November 17, 2018 and Sunday, November 18, 2018, the M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Museum of Science and Industry will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 22, 2018) and the First Day of Christmas (Tuesday, December 25, 2018). Extended hours (9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) will be in play again from Friday, November 23, 2018 to Sunday, November 25, 2018; Saturday, December 1, 2018 and Sunday, December 2, 2018; Saturday, December 8, 2018 and Sunday, December 9, 2018; Saturday, December 15, 2018 and Sunday, December 2016; Saturday, December 22, 2018 and Sunday, December 23, 2018; and Wednesday, December 26, 2018 through Sunday, December 30, 2018. Check this Webpage and the Museum of Science and Industry’s social media for updates.
The Museum of Science and Industry is located at the northern end of Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago. The address is 5700 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637. The Website is https://www.msichicago.org. The phone number is (773) 684-1414.
 Like all submarines built before engineer Helmuth Walther (1900-1980), an innovator in the fields of both rocket and submarine propulsion, invented air-independent propulsion (A.I.P.), the U-505 was designed to primarily run at the surface and dive occasionally, though when the Allies began to win the war, U-boats ran submerged during the day and surfaced almost exclusively at night. Today, Walther’s A.I.P. submarines – such as the famous Type XXI U-boat – that emerged toward the end of the war and nuclear submarines are considered true submarines and older model subs are considered submersibles because they were designed to mostly operate at the surface and only dive occasionally.