TUKWILA, Wash., April 11, 2019—Like the deep first rumble of a rocket launch, international momentum is building for this summer’s July celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, and the Museum’s signature exhibition of 2019, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, with its centerpiece Apollo 11 spacecraft, is poised to be a major center of attention. Destination Moon is organized by the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), and features new content developed by The Museum of Flight expressly for this location. The exhibition runs from April 13 to Sept. 2. Tickets are $10 plus Museum admission, and special pricing for Museum Members. There will also be several free community days for Destination Moon (the dates to be announced).
“The Museum is honored to work with the Smithsonian to host this historic exhibition during the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11’s flight,” said Matt Hayes, Museum of Flight President and CEO. “We look forward to celebrating Apollo 11 with the global community, and especially with our neighbors in the Northwest—some of whom helped get us to the Moon, and now there’s a new generation of space explorers based right here.”
The Destination Moon celebration kicks off with a 21+ preview and party, Yuri’s Night, on April 12 from 6-11 p.m. This space-themed spectacle joins art, dance, music and technology to pay tribute to humankind’s first celestial journey—Yuri Gagarin’s orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961. The Museum’s T.A. Wilson Great Gallery transforms into an intergalactic nightclub with some of the best electronic music DJs from Seattle and beyond with ASTRONOMAR taking center stage with support from Subset and Hydef. Yuri’s Night attendees are also treated to a preview of Destination Moon, and a playful 6 p.m. with space shuttle astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger.
The April 13-14 opening weekend of the exhibition will offer special lectures, free souvenirs, family programs and VR tours of the Apollo 11 command module. The exhibit also marks the opening of a reimagined design of the Museum’s indoor playground for children, now called Tranquility Base. Located next to Destination Moon, the highly interactive area includes a command module mock-up that kids can board and “radio” to friends or family stationed at a nearby mission control console. Tranquility Base is open and free to all Museum visitors.
Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission
The challenge of putting the first steps on the Moon moved a nation during the 1960s, Apollo’s legacy now inspires today’s spaceflight adventurers. The exhibition takes you back with original Apollo 11-flown objects, interactives and unique artifacts from the Space Race. Only here will you experience them during Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary. And along the way, you too will feel reason to celebrate the beginning of today’s New Space Age.
In its only West Coast appearance, Destination Moon will feature special programs throughout the run of the exhibition, plus a weekend festival during the July 20 50th anniversary of the giant leap for humanity. The exhibition includes more than 20 one-of-a-kind artifacts from the Smithsonian, many flown on the historic mission, plus dozens of NASA and Russian spaceflight additions from the Museum’s renowned collection.
Highlighting the exhibition is the historic NASA Apollo 11 command module, Columbia. Visitors can see the spaceship up close like never before, and can explore its intricate interior with an interactive 3-D tour created from the Smithsonian’s high-resolution scans.
The Smithsonian’s Destination Moon exhibition is enhanced with The Museum of Flight’s own Space Race displays with rare objects like a Soviet Sputnik satellite, early cosmonaut spacesuit and long-lost remains of the rocket engines that boosted Apollo 12 and Apollo 16 to the Moon. Also unique is a gallery about the legacy of Seattle-area industry, astronauts and engineers to the space program.
The Museum is the fourth museum on a limited tour organized by the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. This Destination Moon tour marks the first time the Apollo 11 command module Columbia has left the National Air and Space Museum since the museum opened to the public in 1976. Before entering the collection, the command module traveled on a 50-state tour throughout 1970 and 1971 covering more than 26,000 miles. It then went on display in the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building before the current National Air and Space Museum was built on the National Mall.
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. Transportation services for Destination Moon are provided by FedEx.
Image: Apollo 11 command module Columbia in Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission at The Museum of Flight. Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight, Seattle.