Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-8

For as long as humans have gazed at the sky, the Moon has played a central role in mythology, religion and curiosity.

Moscow/Cosmonaut Museum Moscow/Cosmonaut Museum
[Taken on my visit to Moscow’s Cosmonaut Museum]

In the 1950’s, the United States and Soviet Union competed in a space race following the Sputnik satellite (containing the first animal in orbit, Laika) launched by the Russians in 1957. 

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-12
[Moon Rock]

President John F. Kennedy believed that America’s best chance of catching up in the race would be to have US astronauts land on the Moon by the end of the 1960’s and on May 25, 1961, he proposed a lunar mission to Congress. And the rest, of course, is history.

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight
[Museum of Flight President/CEO Matt Hayes]

The Museum of Flight, the largest independent non-profit air and space museum in the world, has just launched its iconic exhibit, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, honouring the 50th anniversary of the first human steps on the Moon.

This major exhibit will run through September 2, its focal piece the actual command module Columbia, used on that historic trip 50 years ago.

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-9
[Apollo 11 Command Module: Home for eight days to three astronauts]

Organized by the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), the Museum of Flight’s exhibit features over two dozen artifacts flown on Apollo 11, as well as rare objects spanning the Space Age from the Museum’s own collection.

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-10

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s extravehicular visor and gloves from that iconic mission are even included here.

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-2
[F1 remains]

50 years later, this pivotal moment in history is here for everyone to rediscover. I attended the media preview last week and got a first glimpse of what will surely become one of the most exciting space-themed exhibits for years to come.

Geoff Nunn, Museum of Flight’s Adjunct Curator for Space History and Exhibit Development, is honoured to have this exhibit in-house to ring in the 50th anniversary.

Seattle/Museum of Flight

Preparing to mount Destination Moon took the better part of two years and an army of people. Then again, it took 400,000 people in getting us to the Moon. Seattle was a major player; many stories of the mission played out within miles of the museum.

Edmonton-born Dr. Michael Neufeld, Senior Curator of the National Air and Space Museum, added that the exhibit is a fitting tribute to all those involved during the Mission. He hopes that visitors will be inspired by both the artifacts and the stories of Apollo 11.

Seattle Chocolates Moon Rocks
[Seattle Chocolate’s Moon Rocks celebrates with their limited-edition chocolate bar!]

Dubbed “Seattle’s Summer of Space”, several city museums (as well as dozens of hotels, attractions and businesses) have leapfrogged onto the exhibit with their own Moon landing-themed events. Visit Summer of Space online for details.

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-15

And here are photos from the space-themed Yuri’s Night event from Friday night, in honour of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to orbit the earth on April 12, 1961.

Moscow/Cosmonaut Museum

Did you know that Gagarin is honoured each April with parties and events around the world?

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-16 Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-3 Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-14 Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-5

Sound Down Seattle put on a Silent Disco in the T.A. Wilson Great Gallery, with DJs Nokuary, Scalar Theorem, toastercookie, Friend Zone and others switching it up on the turntables throughout the evening.

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-13
[Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger]

On hand for a space-themed trivia session was space ambassador Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, a NASA mission specialist on STS-131 in April 2010.

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-6
[Barry Blankenship provided live screen printing with works of art for sale at the event]

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-17 Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-7

Museum Events During Destination Moon

A special weekend-long festival will be held from July 19 to 21, coordinating with July 20’s 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.

– July 19: ”1969” family day featuring an evening ’60s music concert and movie
– July 20: A rocking celebration of the Moon landing with an evening outdoor concert for 4,000 (artist to be announced)
– July 21: Presentation reflecting upon spaceflight today and tomorrow

There will also be several free community days for the exhibit (to be announced).

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-11

Destination Moon tickets are $10 (in addition to Museum admission), with special pricing for Museum members.

Destination Moon at Museum of Flight-4

About the Museum of Flight

Founded in 1965, the Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving 600,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to today’s 787 Dreamliner. Attractions at the 20-acre, five-building Seattle campus include the original Boeing Company factory, the NASA Space Shuttle Trainer and the only exhibit of the rocket engines used to launch Apollo astronauts to the Moon. The Museum’s aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way South in Seattle, Washington.

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