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On July 24, 1969, Apollo 11 met President Kennedy’s 1961 challenge of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth” before the end of the decade. The Smithsonian will celebrate and honor the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest achievements of human history with the traveling exhibition Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. Featuring the Apollo command module Columbia—the only portion of the historic spacecraft to return from that momentous mission—the exhibition will explore the birth of the American space program and the space race. The Destination Moon exhibition tour is developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the National Air and Space Museum.

Command ModuleA once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, featuring approximately 20 mission-related objects including the command module, Columbia. The exhibition will travel to select cities across the United States, before the objects return to a new, permanent gallery at the National Air and Space Museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Museumgoers will also be able to experience the thrill of seeing the inside of the module through an interactive 3-D tour.

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.

This tour has been fully booked.



 

Exhibition specifications

Contents

Original Apollo 11-flown objects and models, including star charts for navigation, a medical kit, a survival kit, the helmet and gloves worn by Buzz Aldrin while on the surface of the moon, and the first-state injector plate from the Saturn V rocket recovered from the ocean floor in 2013

Archival images and videos

A 3-D interactive tour of the interior and exterior of Columbia

Supplemental Educational and promotional resources
Size Approximately 5,000 square feet
Category History & Culture
Security High
Shipping Transportation services provided by FedEx
Contacts Michelle Torres-Carmona, 202.633.3143 (scheduling)
Kathrin Halpern, 202.633.3109 (content)
Tour Through 2019

 

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Tour itinerary

For programing and site details, please click on host museum's name.
Opening and Closing    
Oct. 14, 2017 - Mar. 18, 2018 Space Center HoustonHouston, TX Booked
Apr. 14, 2018 – Sept. 3, 2018 Saint Louis Science CenterSt. Louis, MO Booked
Sept. 29, 2018 - Feb. 18, 2019 Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA Booked
Mar. 16, 2019 - Sept. 2, 2019 The Museum of Flight Seattle, WA Booked

 

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Related publications

 

 

 

Press release

Media only: Jennifer Schommer (202) 633-3121; schommerj@si.edu
Media website: http://newsdesk.si.edu

Smithsonian Announces National Tour of Exhibition Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

The Apollo 11 command module Columbia—the only portion of the historic spacecraft to complete the first mission to land a man on the moon and safely return him to Earth—will leave the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for the first time in 46 years for the traveling exhibition Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission.

The exhibition’s two-year national tour will celebrate the approaching 50th anniversary of the mission and explore the birth and development of the American space program and the space race.

The planned tour, organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), will bring the command module and more than 20 one-of-a-kind artifacts from the historic mission to some of the top museums in the country:

  • Space Center Houston—Oct. 14, 2017–March 18, 2018
  • Saint Louis Science Center—April 14–Sept. 3, 2018
  • Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh—Sept. 29, 2018–Feb. 18, 2019
  • The Museum of Flight, Seattle—March 16–Sept. 2, 2019

The Apollo 11 command module will return to a place of honor in the new exhibition “Destination Moon,” slated to open in 2020.

Through original Apollo 11-flown objects, models, videos and interactives, visitors 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 in spring 2016. The interactives will allow visitors to explore the entire craft including its intricate interior, an interior that has been inaccessible to the public until now.

On July 24, 1969, Apollo 11 met President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge of “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” The exhibition will explore what led the United States to accept this challenge and how the resulting 953,054-mile voyage to the moon and back was accomplished just eight years after the program was authorized. “Destination Moon” will examine the mission and shed a light on some of the more than 400,000 people employed in NASA programs who worked through the trials, tragedies and triumphs of the 20 missions from 1961 to 1969 before Apollo 11.

The tour will mark the first time Columbia will leave the National Air and Space Museum since the museum opened to the public in 1976. Before entering the collection, the command module traveled on a 50-state tour throughout 1970 and 1971 covering more than 26,000 miles. It then went on display in the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building before the current National Air and Space Museum was built on the National Mall.

“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.

The traveling exhibition previews part of a new gallery opening at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., which is scheduled to open in 2020. “Destination Moon” at the museum will tell the story of human exploration of the moon, from ancient dreams to the Apollo program to the missions happening right now.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.

All of the museums on the tour are Smithsonian Affiliates—members of a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.

The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Attendance at both buildings combined exceeded 9 million in 2016, making it the most visited museum in America. The museum’s research, collections, exhibitions and programs focus on aeronautical history, space history and planetary studies. Both buildings are open from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every day (closed Dec. 25).

 
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EXPLORE and LEARN
» Exhibition Specifications

» Tour Itinerary

» Educational Resources

» Destination Moon Website

 

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