Due to popular demand, the Nixon Library’s originally curated special exhibit, Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind has been extended through March 1, 2020.
On July 20, 1969, the eyes of the world watched as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. Just minutes after landing they received a call from President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, with congratulations on behalf of the American people. Three days later, President Nixon personally greeted the three astronauts at the splashdown site in the Pacific Ocean, aboard the U.S.S. Hornet.
Museum-goers take a thrill ride through the Space Race of the 1950s and 1960s, President Kennedy’s famous challenge to go to the moon, and the scientific and technological advancements that were developed —many in Southern California— to ensure success and survival on this inspirational mission.
The exhibit’s originally-created, 360-degree virtual reality experience transports visitors to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, to see and hear Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.”
Artifacts and objects featured in the exhibit include:
- Buzz Aldrin’s penlight used in the Lunar Module and Apollo 11 patch worn on the surface of the moon
- NASA X-15 silver-gleaming pressure suit used to train Neil Armstrong and America’s first astronauts in the 1950s
- Oval Office telephone that President Nixon used to call Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they explored on the lunar surface
- Presidential Medal of Freedom Award presented to astronaut Michael Collins
- President Nixon’s draft speech prepared in the event of a “moon disaster”
- A moon rock from the lunar surface, acquired during the Apollo 11 mission
- A 3-D printed, life-sized statue of Neil Armstrong in his spacesuit, as he climbed down the ladder of the Lunar Module on the moon
- A giant, exact recreation of an Apollo mission command module
Visitors can sit in a 1969 American living room and watch the moon landing just like people all over the world did on the historic night 50 years ago.
All subsequent lunar landings happened during the Nixon administration, and Richard Nixon remains the only president with his name on a plaque on the lunar surface.
Exhibit partners include NASA, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Boeing, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation and Immersive VR Education. Other contributing organizations include the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, Discovery Cube, and the Columbia Memorial Space Center.
Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind is included with admission to the Nixon Library. The Nixon Library is open seven days a week, Mondays through Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Nixon Library admission is $21 for adults, $17 for seniors, $15 for high school and college students, $15 for retired military, active military are free, children 5-11 for $11 and children 4 and under are free during the exhibit duration.