Later this year, the spacecraft that carried the Apollo 11 astronauts to the Moon and back will leave the National Air and Space Museum for the first time in 46 years as it embarks on its national tour as part of the Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission traveling exhibition. In preparation for its two-year tour, which will stop in four cities across the United States, the command module Columbia is currently in our Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Udvar-Hazy Center undergoing conservation treatment. Join us for this rare opportunity to go behind-the-scenes to learn about the work in progress and talk to experts preserving this historic spacecraft for future generations.
We’ll have a variety of activities and experts on hand as you learn about the Apollo program and join conversations about how the Moon landing has inspired you — whether you witnessed the event or were born after. Explore how Apollo and the Moon landing transformed our lives 50 years ago and continues to influence space exploration and inspire people today and into the future.
Don’t miss this opportunity to view Columbia on the Restoration Hangar floor and see it one last time before it goes on tour in October. The full list of activities can be found below.
MARY BAKER ENGEN RESTORATION HANGAR*
- Go inside the Museum's Restoration Hangar where staff work to conserve, restore, and preserve spacecraft and aircraft.
- See the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia undergoing conservation treatment and meet the experts who care for the artifact.
- Talk to experts who moved the Command Module Columbia from Washington, D.C., to Chantilly, Va., and learn about the preparation that goes into moving large artifacts.
*Please note: entrance into the Restoration Hangar will end at 2:30 pm.
- Explore Apollo objects on display including Neil Armstrong's helmet and gloves, a section of Saturn V rocket, and the original Apollo 11 splashdown recovery objects.
- Learn how the Archives’ collections document the Apollo experience from technical drawings to an astronaut’s memoirs to a Russian scrapbook to images from the television spectacle.
- Take a virtual 3D tour of the Command Module.
- Examine a small piece of the Moon from the lunar meteorite collection.
HISTORY OF APOLLO
- Go on the “Path of Apollo” to get a primer on the Apollo program, from the work that went into landing on the Moon to the space photography that documented the mission to the immediate aftermath of the program.
- Participate in “Age of Apollo,” an inter-generational conversation about the impact of the Apollo program. Share your memories or ask what it was like to watch this worldwide TV event.
- Hear from planetary scientists on why Apollo 11 landed in the Sea of Tranquility and learn about the process for choosing sites today.
- Use our electronic Graffiti Wall to leave your message in a spaceship or share the first words you would say when stepping onto a new world.
- Contribute your Apollo 11 message to our Digital Scrapbook.
- View the Moon through telescopes.
- Enjoy family-friendly activities: Build the structural skeleton of a life-size lunar habitat using Strawbees, try piloting a lunar landar, or take a break with story time.
IMAX MOVIES (fees apply)
- The Dream is Alive - 12:40 pm
- Hubble 3D - 1:30 pm
- The Right Stuff - 2:30 pm