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. Opening Oct. 14, this exhibit will be the first time the Apollo 11 command module will leave the Smithsonian since a 1971 national tour. Space Center Houston 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 the home of 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.

The awe-inspiring Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission exhibit, on display through March 18 at Space Center Houston, is part of the nonprofit’s 25th anniversary year jubilee celebration. The center is the first Smithsonian Affiliate in greater Houston.

In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, guests will see more than 20 one-of-a-kind Apollo 11 mission artifacts, some of which flew on the historic Apollo 11 mission. They include the hatch, the F-1 injector plate, a lunar sample return container, astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s extravehicular visor and gloves, astronaut Michael Collins’ Omega Speedmaster Chronograph, a star chart, survival kit and more.

Through original Apollo 11 flown artifacts, models, videos and interactives, guests will learn about the historic journey of the Apollo 11 crew — Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. Destination Moon will include 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.

Space Center Houston offers 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.

The exhibition, a partnership of the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), 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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