Museum of Flight hosting historic Apollo 11 Exhibit recalling 1st moon landing

Apollo Command Module with F-1 engine.

Apollo Command Module.

Gemini space suit gloves.

Pete Conrad leather flight jacket.

Photos courtesy Museum of Flight

By Ralph Nichols

When the total solar eclipse crossed the United States last August, the Museum of Flight in Tukwila played a significant role in observations of this rare astronomical event.

The museum, located at the south end of Boeing Field, served as the base of operations for a NASA observation plane that collected data as it followed the path of the solar event, in addition to hosting scientific presentations and an outdoor public viewing of the eclipse for the public.

Now the museum is preparing to host a major exhibit next year to commemorate another out-of-this-world event – the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission when American astronauts became the first people to land on the Moon.

The Museum of Flight will be one of four locations – and the only one of the West Coast – that will display the exhibit, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, including the iconic Apollo 11 capsule that carried crew members Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, who were launched into space days earlier atop a powerful Saturn V rocket.

Armstrong and Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969 – realizing after many millennia man’s ancient dream to explore this celestial body.

This two-year traveling exhibit will mark first time the Apollo 11 capsule has left the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in 46 years.  Its final stop will be at the Museum of Flight from March 16 through Sept. 2, 2019.  When it returns to Washington, D.C., it will become part of a new gallery opening in 2020 at the national museum.

A major exhibit – Apollo – is already open to the public at the Museum of Flight.  Using rare artifacts from its collection, the museum acquaints visitors with the early story of spaceflight and the Apollo Moon missions.  This exhibit will be will be modified when Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission opens.

Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission will use a combination of original Apollo 11-flown objects, models, videos and interactive displays to tell the story of this historic space voyage. It will include an interactive 3-D tour, which will allow visitors to explore the entire craft including its intricate interior that has been inaccessible to the public until now.

The Apollo 11 mission met a challenge issued by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to “land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth” by the end of that decade.  The exhibit will explore what led the United States to accept his challenge, and how the resulting 953,054-mile voyage to the Moon and back was accomplished just eight years after the program was authorized – including 20 Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft missions before Apollo 11.

Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission 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.

More info on the Apollo Exhibit is here:

The Museum of Flight
9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle, WA 98108-4097

Phone: 206-764-5700

Fax: 206-764-5707


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