The Saint Louis Science Center is one of four science museums nationwide to host “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. that opens at the Science Center on Saturday, April 14.
The exhibition will feature the Apollo 11 command module Columbia, marking the first time in 46 years the module has left the museum, as well as 20 artifacts from the historic mission.
“St. Louis played a vital role in the Space Race, with McDonnell-Douglas serving as a key leader in the development of the Mercury and Apollo mission technology,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO. “We are honored to have the opportunity to host this exhibition, which represents an iconic period in our country’s history. We are the only museum in the Midwest to host this exhibition, which is so special for the city of St. Louis. We feel very honored because we know that for many people this will be a once- in-a-lifetime chance to see these artifacts.”
In addition to 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, the exhibition will feature:
Star Chart: The chart shows the positions of the sun, moon and stars at the time Apollo 11 was scheduled to leave Earth’s orbit and head for the moon.
Rucksack #1, Survival Kit: One of two rucksacks filled with equipment to help the crew survive for up to 48 hours in the event of an emergency landing somewhere on Earth. The kit includes three water containers, a radio beacon and spare battery, three pairs of sunglasses, six packages of desalting chemicals, a seawater desalter kit, two survival lights, a machete and two bottles of sunscreen.
Aldrin’s Extravehicular Visor: Buzz Aldrin wore this outer helmet while on the surface of the moon. It fit over his clear pressure-bubble helmet.
Aldrin’s Extravehicular Gloves: These gloves have an outer, cut-resistant shell of Chromel-R fabric across the hands to prevent fatal air leaks caused by handling sharp objects and gauntlets to protect against solar heating. The blue fingertips were made of silicone rubber to provide more sensitivity for touching.
Vescolani said, “‘Destination Moon’ will help visitors of all ages to appreciate the accomplishment of the Moon Landing and all of the work that went into making it happen. We hope the exhibition inspires our guests to think about what is next in space discovery. Perhaps one of them will play a role in exploring Mars and beyond.”
The exhibit is open during regular Science Center hours.
More information: slsc.org
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