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After 12 years on the job, Hansen Planetarium director Von Del Chamberlain is retiring.

On Thursday, the 62-year-old Chamberlain disputed reports published elsewhere that he decided on early retirement because the science center championed by the planetarium is no longer on the drawing boards."My decision and retirement, from my point of view, had nothing to do with the science center at all," he said. He will be working on a textbook he's wanted to write and continuing his research into ancient Indian astronomy.

"I'm going to be spending some time in our beautiful red rock country," he said. "I might do some consulting, but I'm not going to be making a business consulting."

He has received requests from the American Association of Museums to help with projects, he added.

Chamberlain will take leave of the planetarium, at 15 S. State, May 17. On that day, the planetarium will hold an open house to honor him.

On Thursday, the planetarium's board of directors met and decided to launch a nationwide search to replace Chamberlain.