Medal, Commemorative, Apollo 11

Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This Apollo 11 commemorative medal was designed by Spanish artist Calico Barna. Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, and returned to Earth eight days later. It was the fifth human spaceflight in the program and the first to land humans on the Moon. Over 500 million people around the world watched Neil Armstrong's televised image and heard his voice as he took his historic first step on the Moon on July 20. Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. were the other two astronauts.

In this medal, Barna recasts the American accomplishment in the tradition of the Spanish conquistadors, calling the achievement "the greatest conquest of all time" and featuring the profile of American President Richard Nixon (whose superlative statements about Apollo 11, which he called "the greatest week in the history of the world since Creation") support this interpretation of the event.

Space medal collector Thomas Becker donated this art medal to the National Collection in 1972.