Destination Moon

Space Center Houston first on rare tour of historic Apollo 11

Space Center Houston is the first of four stops for a brand-new exhibit featuring the Apollo 11 command module. This exhibit is the first time the Apollo 11 spacecraft has left the Smithsonian since 1971 following a national tour.

In the once-in-a-lifetime exhibit Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, explore more than 20 one-of-a-kind Apollo 11 mission artifacts, some of which flew on the historic Apollo 11 mission.

Space Center Houston also will be the only location where visitors can see the space capsules for both the first and last lunar landings. The nonprofit Space Center Houston is home to the Apollo 17 command module, the last mission to land on the moon, and Houston is where the Apollo astronauts lived and trained for their missions.

Parts of the experience
Through original Apollo 11 flown artifacts, models, videos and interactives, learn about the historic journey of the Apollo 11 crew — Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin.

The command module Columbia is the only part of the historic Apollo 11 spacecraft to return intact to Earth. It carried the crew, equipment and precious lunar samples through a fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. Collins piloted Columbia and remained in orbit around the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin made humanity’s first steps on the moon, descending in a lunar module.
This is the extra-vehicular visor worn by astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. The visor protected him from the unfiltered sunlight on the lunar surface, fitting over his clear pressure-bubble helmet. Aldrin’s gloves, pictured in the background, are from the historic visit to the moon. The gloves have blue fingertips made of silicone rubber to provide more touch sensitivity.
This injector plate sprayed liquid oxygen and kerosene fuel into one of the five F1 engines on Apollo 11’s massive Saturn V rocket. In less than three minutes of the F1 engines firing up, the Saturn V rocket used enough fuel to drain an Olympic-size swimming pool. Visible in this photo is the damage to the injector plate from when it made impact with the ocean. The injector plate was recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 2013.
The Apollo 11 command module Columbia had two survival kits filled with equipment to help the crew survive for up to 48 hours in the event of an emergency landing. The survival kit includes three water containers, a radio beacon with spare battery, three pairs of sunglasses, six packages of desalting chemicals, a seawater desalinization kit, two survival lights, a machete and two bottles of sunscreen.
Destination Moon includes an interactive 3-D tour, created from high-resolution scans of Columbia performed at the Smithsonian. The interactive displays will allow guests to explore the entire craft including its intricate interior, one that has been inaccessible to the public until now.
Enhance your experience
Space Center Houston offers Moon Revisited, an exclusive additional exhibit featuring an array of Apollo artifacts such as Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise’s spacesuit, Apollo 9 astronaut David Scott’s spacesuit, a toolkit, a lunar module controller and more. Explore Moon Revisited in Astronaut Gallery.

The awe-inspiring exhibit is on display through March 18 at Space Center Houston, and is part of the nonprofit’s 25th anniversary year celebration. The center is the first Smithsonian Affiliate in greater Houston.

The Destination Moon exhibition is a partnership of the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The exhibit will commemorate the 50th anniversary in 2019 of the extraordinary achievement of man’s first step on the moon.

The traveling exhibit previews the permanent exhibit Destination Moon that will take a place of honor in 2020 in a new gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. It will tell the story of human exploration of the moon, from ancient dreams to the Apollo program to the missions happening right now.

Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission exhibit is made possible by the support of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, Joe Clark, Bruce R. McCaw Family Foundation, the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, John and Susann Norton, and Gregory D. and Jennifer Walston Johnson. Transportation services for Destination Moon are provided by FedEx.

Click here to learn more about the Apollo 17 Command Module currently on display at Space Center Houston.

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