Apollo 11 was a pivotal moment in American history. It was the culmination of the space race and the first mission placing a man on the moon.
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing on July 20, 1969. To commemorate, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama has a special exhibition entitled, “Apollo When We Went To The Moon.”
The exhibition invites guests to step back in time to “Experience the best of technology and exploration through the eyes of the engineers and in the boots of the astronauts who took us to the moon 50 years ago.”
The exhibition is an informative timeline chronicling the Apollo program. Traveling the timeline gives visitors an opportunity to encounter the space race while providing a glimpse into the intense competition between the U.S. and the Soviets.
Begin in the office of Werhner von Braun the German-American aerospace engineer who was a major figure and pioneer in the development of rocket technology.
Move along the timeline and encounter the Soviet satellite Sputnik as well as the first U.S. satellite while listening to a spellbinding back-and-forth between Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy.
Next, examine a replica of one of the infamous Soviet missiles stationed in Cuba. The experience is moving and memorable simply because of the magnitude of these events which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
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Apollo 11 and The Moon Landing
Moving forward from the early days of the space race, the exhibition does a terrific job of presenting the Apollo 11 crew and its mission to the moon.
Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were the astronauts onboard Apollo 11. Seeing their gear and the beautiful molds of their hands is a highlight of the display.
Moreover, the Space & Rocket Center’s timeline provides a thrilling moment to relive the actual lift-off of their Saturn-V rocket. The roar of engines and the countdown bring to life the magical moment. Whether you remember the event in 1969 or it was before you were born, it’s a gripping and indelible moment in time.
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Explore The Lunar Surface
Exploring the moon’s surface is an interactive aspect of the space race timeline. No, you won’t need to don a space suit and there’s ample gravity, but it’s possible to walk on the moon and sit in the lunar rover. Both present great photo opportunities.
Plan Your Visit To the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The “Apollo When We Went To The Moon” exhibition is open now through December 2019. There are also multiple anniversary celebration events scheduled throughout the year. However, there’s much more to do and see at the Rocket Center.
A General Admission ticket includes access to the main museum exhibit areas, the Rocket Park, Space Shuttle Park, and the Davidson Center for Space Exploration.
It also includes access to the Saturn-V Hall where there are free guided tours, simulators, and hands-on displays. It’s worth the price of admission just to stand beneath a Saturn-V rocket.
Don't Forget The Gift Shop!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the stellar gift shop(s).
There is the main gift shop and a smaller one in the Saturn-V Hall. Both offer an array of shirts, hats, and souvenirs of all shapes and forms commemorating Apollo 11, space travel, and NASA.
You know I love a good gift shop so when I say, don’t miss… don’t miss it!
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama is an incredible place to visit any time. Not only is it home to over 1,500 rocketry and space relics and rotating exhibitions, but it’s also the home of the U.S. Space Camp.
With so much brilliant space history, this year’s exhibit detailing the space race and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing is just one more reason to travel to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in the Rocket City.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center
One Tranquility Base
- Although my visit to the Space & Rocket Center was in collaboration with Visit Huntsville, Alabama, all opinions are honest and my own. #iHeartHsv
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