It was announced Wednesday that the Apollo 11 spacecraft will travel on a tour that involves several museums across the United States. This iconic craft is, without a doubt, one of the most famous objects in the history of humankind. It carried the first humans that touched a large space object distinct to Earth, as astronauts were able to land on the Moon for the first time.
In the 50th anniversary of the famous and historical space voyage, the command module Columbia will participate in the “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission,” a national tour that will last two years.
“It represents one of the great achievements of mankind,” said Myriam Springuel, the director of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service that runs the tour. “We are privileged to take it across the country and to share it with the people who own this object, which are the citizens of the United States.”
This historic capsule was the habitat of astronauts Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong during the 8-day trip to the Moon and back. The journey consisted of more than 1 million miles of distance covered, as this capsule was the only part of the spacecraft that returned safely to Earth.
The ‘Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission’ tour
This tour will represent only the second time in which the capsule visits other parts of the country. In the 1970’s the Apollo 11 spacecraft also starred in a national tour, and ever since, it has spent more than 40 years at the National Air and Space Museum located in Washington DC.
Gen. John Dailey, director of the National Air and Space Museum, explains how this tour is important to Americans at this particular time. He says that the Apollo 11 mission is an amazing story, and they hope to “relight that inspiration” in the current situation of the United States’ citizens.
“We could use that in this country right now, that spirit,” he concluded.
Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle are the cities that are going to be hosts of the historic space capsule, as there is a special exhibition on July 20, 2019, in commemoration of the spacecraft’s 50th anniversary of its return to Earth. This presentation will take place in the Seattle’s iconic Museum of Flight.
David Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, has stated that every person that is near those areas can “get up close and personal” with this iconic piece of humankind history. The space capsule will be sent to each city through FedEx, which is also a sponsor of the event.
Along with the presence of the space probe itself, another 20 objects that accompanied the astronauts in their travel will be touring in the mentioned cities. Among these objects, there will be the gloves and visor that Buzz Aldrin used during his time outside the vehicle.
The persons that visit the exhibitions will be able to do a 3D simulated tour that shows the interior and exterior of the capsule itself, as visitors are not allowed to enter the vehicle.
Source: USA Today