New Smithsonian Exhibition On View

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon
Columbia command module pilot Michael Collins inside the craft
Columbia command module pilot Michael Collins inside the craft. Credit: Photo courtesy of NASA

The Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals presents Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. The poster exhibition from the Smithsonian celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and explores the birth and development of the American space program and the space race.  

On July 24, 1969, Apollo 11 met President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge of “landing  a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” The poster exhibition explores what led the United States to accept this challenge and how the resulting 953,054-mile voyage to the moon and back was accomplished just eight years after the program was authorized. Destination Moon examines the mission and recognizes some of the more than 400,000  people employed in NASA programs who worked through the trials, tragedies and triumphs of the 20 missions from 1961 to 1969 before Apollo 11.  

Fifty years later, the Apollo program remains the benchmark for great national achievement. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon and humans first set foot on another  celestial body, it gave humanity a new perspective from which to view the world. Using this  poster exhibition, viewers will be able to look back at this historic mission, and hopefully  envision the next generation of innovators, scientists, explorers and astronauts.  

Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission is made possible by the support of Jeff and  MacKenzie Bezos, Joe Clark, Bruce R. McCaw Family Foundation, the Charles and Lisa Simonyi  Fund for Arts and Sciences, John and Susann Norton, and Gregory D. and Jennifer Walston  Johnson. 

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