Apollo 11 Spacecraft Departing Houston for St. Louis on 'Destination Moon' Tour

Space.com | 3/19/2018 | Staff
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HOUSTON — After five months on display in "Space City," the first spacecraft to carry astronauts to land on the moon is now destined for the "Gateway to the West."

Columbia, the command module that took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon and back in 1969, concluded the first leg of a planned three-year tourin Houston, Texas on Sunday (March 18). The ship, which is the centerpiece of the Smithsonian's "Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission" exhibit, will next travel to St. Louis, Missouri, where it will go on display beginning April 14.

Destination - Moon - Apollo - Mission - Tour

The "Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission" tour marks the first time in more than 40 years that Columbia has left the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The exhibit, which will visit three more cities, including St. Louis, through the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission in 2019, opened at Space Center Houston on Oct. 14, 2017.

"It has been great to work with the Smithsonian on this and we were just overjoyed to be able to kick off this four-city tour," Lamm told collectSPACE in an interview. "I could not think of a better place for it to have started than right here in Houston and at Space Center Houston."

Exhibition - Center - Stage - Space - Center

The exhibition, which took center stage in Space Center Houston's main plaza, also marked a second homecoming of sorts for Columbia, which was last in Houston following its return from the moon in 1969. Johnson Space Center is home to the mission control that managed the Apollo 11 mission and to NASA's astronaut corps.

The Apollo 11 command module Columbia seen during its display at Space Center Houston.

People - Part - Apollo - Program - Parent

"We got to hear from so many people here locally that they had been part of the Apollo program, or they had a parent...
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