WAPAKONETA — Officials at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum have opened of a new exhibit of items that relate to the Apollo 11 lunar expedition in general and astronaut and Wapakoneta native Neil Armstrong in particular.
The exhibit, titled “Apollo 11: to the Moon and Back,” officially opened last week during Wapakoneta’s annual Summer Moon Festival. It will feature newly acquired historic items that have been loaned or donated to the museum, including Armstrong’s Apollo 11 Biological Isolation Garment, a fragment of Kapton foil taken from the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia after splashdown and a piece of fabric from the Wright Brothers’ first airplane taken to the lunar surface by Armstrong.
The exhibit also will incorporate two items that were previously on display at the museum — an American flag and emergency heel restraints that flew aboard the Apollo 11 mission.
“These artifacts make an excellent addition to the overall collection on display,” Logan Rex, museum curator, said in a prepared statement. “Each of these objects allows us to better expand upon the fascinating and complex nature of Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 mission.”
The exhibit will be on display for an indefinite period. The Biological Isolation Garment is on a two-year loan from the Bicycle Museum of America in New Bremen.
“The first lunar landing is an event that is deeply cherished within world history,” says Dante Centuori, the museum’s executive director. “Having these artifacts that were so closely tied to this monumental occasion will allow guests to really appreciate and experience the Apollo 11 mission in a deeper way.”
On July 20, 1969, Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the surface of the moon as part of a three-man crew aboard Apollo 11. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin followed Armstrong onto the moon’s surface while Michael Collins remained aboard the craft he piloted to the moon.
On that same day former Ohio Gov. James proposed a museum dedicated to the history of America’s space program. Three years later — to the day — the Armstrong Air & Space Museum was opened to the public.
For more information on the upcoming exhibit or the Wapakoneta Summer Moon Festival, visit the Armstrong Air & Space Museum website at www.armstrongmuseum.org.