On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong disembarked from the Eagle Lunar Module and made his "giant leap for humanity." For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will host a host of stunning epic mission artefacts.
"As of July 16th, we will be re-issuing Neil Armstrong's spacesuit, and we have scheduled many events in the National Mall and Museum this week." Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator of the Smithsonian Department of Space History, told Fox News:
A lunar module used for testing the Apollo 11 program is one of a variety of artifacts from the mission at the Smithsonian in Washington DC: "Seeing The artifact excites people and gives them a sense of the breakthrough technological evolution needed to reach the moon," said Muir-Harmony. "The one in our collection was Lunar Module-2. It was the second lunar module to perform orbital tests, but Lunar Module 1
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After Apollo 11, the module was donated to the Smithsonian, who modified the vehicle so that it resembles the Eagle Moon module, the Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and carried off the lunar surface.
The Eagle Lunar Module's Descent Level remains on the Moon, while the Ascension Level module returned Armstrong and Aldrin to the Apollo Columbia Command Module. After the astronauts safely docked at the command module, the ascent was dropped and, according to Smithsonian, programmed to crash into the moon.
Muir-Harmony spoke at a Smithsonian Channel event in New York City on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
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The Smithsonian also has the Columbia Command Module in its collection. "The command module was the home of the astronauts," Muir-Harmony explained. "The mission itself lasted a little over 8 days. Seeing the command module in person gives you an idea of what it was like to live and work in space, and how complex it was.
"I think you have a good sense of why the astronauts had to train as much as they did and run through so many simulations," she added. "It's a very special piece in the collection."
The Columbia Command Module is part of "Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission," a traveling Smithsonian exhibit to be seen at Seattle's Museum of Flight until September 2, 2019. Seattle is the fourth station on a nationwide tour Tour for the exhibition. The command module will be on display again in the Smithsonian in 2022 when the Museum's new Destination Moon exhibit opens.
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Muir-Harmony told Fox News that the effect of Apollo 11 is still strong. "I am moved by some considerations the astronauts have made about their experience in space," she said. "They said," You know, we went to the moon, and what we discovered was the earth and an appreciation for the earth.
"To see Earth from space and to see that there are no political boundaries, and then you also see a beautiful planet that is vulnerable," she added. "Many of the astronauts have even more appreciated their home planet."
The six-part series "Apollo's Moon Shot" by Smithsonian Channel premieres on Sunday, June 16, and a documentary special, "The Day We Walked on the Moon," premieres Sunday, July 7.
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