Apollo 11 Command Module to Tour United States

Four U.S. cities will host a traveling exhibit with the spacecraft used to put the first man on the moon.

It made a monumental, historic journey to the moon and back, and now it might be trekking to a city near you.

The Apollo 11 command module Columbia is being prepared for a nationwide tour to the cities of Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Seattle, where it will serve as the centerpiece in an exhibit called Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission.

The command module served as living quarters for astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin on the mission that put the first man on the moon. On July 20, 1969, a landing craft deployed from Columbia brought Aldrin and Armstrong to the moon’s surface and back. The command module transported the crew safely back to Earth.

Twenty other artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission, such as Aldrin’s extravehicular gloves, Collins’ chronograph and a kit used to bring samples of the moon back to Earth, will be featured alongside the spacecraft in the exhibit, according to the Washington Post.

Visitors to the exhibit won’t actually be able to enter the command module, but 3-D scans made of the entire spacecraft will allow them to digitally explore the interior and click on “hot spots” to learn more, according to the Smithsonian Institution.

The traveling exhibit will be in each town for about five months. Its last stop, in Seattle, will coincide with the lunar-landing mission’s 50th anniversary in 2019.

It’s not Columbia‘s first tour of the United States. The command module visited all 50 states from 1970-71 before arriving at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where it was on display at the National Air and Space Museum since the museum opened in 1976. In December 2016, it was moved to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, where it is being conserved and prepared for the tour.

Tour dates for Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission are below.

Texas, Space Center Houston — October 14, 2017 – March 18, 2018

Missouri, Saint Louis Science Center — April 14, 2018 – September 3, 2018

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Senator John Heinz History Center — September 29, 2018 – February 18, 2019

Seattle, Washington; Museum of Flight — March 16, 2019 – September 2, 2019


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