Did you know that the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is currently undergoing a renovation? That means that the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia is not currently on display in Washington D.C., but their (temporary) loss is St. Louis’ gain, because they put together a fantastic traveling exhibit, Destination Moon, which is visiting four cities before returning to be permanently installed in its new home in the Air and Space Museum in 2021.
St. Louis is the second city on the list to host Destination Moon. I don’t know how the other cities are setting it up, but I think St. Louis did a fantastic job. Before you even enter the exhibit, the stage is set with period appropriate local details:
The first room you see is a 1960s living room, complete with console TV, record player, and faux launch party food spread:
After seeing a brief film on St. Louis’ contribution to the Apollo program (more great local details!), there are so many amazing items to discover in the main display:
Of course, the real star of the show is the Command Module Columbia itself:
And there’s also a really cool hands-on area that allows you to sit in the driver’s seat, if you will, and communicate with both Columbia and mission control, as well as test your hand at a lunar landing and see what it’s like to be an astronaut trying to pick up moon rocks. Adults and children both love these opportunities, and they’re all very well designed!
This exhibit is only in St. Louis until September 3rd, but Pittsburgh and Seattle are up next on the four city tour, so if you’re local to either of those areas, you’re in for a real treat!