Apollo 11 command module highlights Smithsonian exhibition coming to Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati selected as final stop on national tour for Destination Moon

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) today announced that CMC will be the fifth and final stop on the national tour of the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibition Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. The exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission and explores the birth and development of the American space program and space race. Destination Moon opens at CMC on September 28. 

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and National Air and Space Museum, Destination Moon features the Apollo 11 command module Columbia – the only portion of the historic spacecraft to return to Earth after the first mission to land a man on the moon and safely return him home. Through more than 20 original Apollo 11-flown objects, models and videos, guests learn about the historic journey of the Apollo 11 crew – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our region to see this iconic piece of history as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of such a historic moment,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “We are honored to bring this national treasure to Cincinnati as inspiration to our region for the next giant leap.”

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.” Destination Moon 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. The exhibition examines the mission and sheds light on 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 culminating with Apollo 11’s historic feat.

Destination Moon marks the first time 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. The traveling exhibition previews part of a new gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, which is scheduled to open in 2022.

Tickets for Destination Moon go on sale July 20 and are available at cincymuseum.org/destination-moon.

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.

CMC is grateful for the support of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, the Farmer Family Foundation and the Harold C. Schott Foundation.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Cody Hefner, Cincinnati Museum Center, (513) 287-7054, chefner@cincymuseum.org
Jennifer Schommer, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, (202) 633-3121, schommerj@si.edu

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About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of a select few museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.

About the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, DC for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.

About the National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, DC is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, VA, near Washington Dulles International Airport. Attendance at both buildings combined exceeded 9 million in 2016, making it the most visited museum in America. The museum’s research, collections, exhibitions and programs focus on aeronautical history, space history and planetary studies. Both buildings are open from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every day (closed Dec. 25). Visit online at airandspace.si.edu/DestinationMoon.