Heinz History Center One Of Three Museums To Host Apollo 11 Moon Landing Exhibit

'American couldn’t put a man on the moon without Pittsburgh'

(photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian).

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – On July 20, 49 years ago, man landed on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong will forever be remembered for the words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

Until now, the only place you could see the spacecraft (Command Module Columbia) that Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin used to land on the moon was in Washington D.C. at the National Air and Space Museum.

That will change in late September when, for the first time ever, the Apollo 11 exhibit will leave our nation’s capital and come to the Senator John Heinz History Center.

President and CEO of the History Center Andy Masich tells the KDKA Radio Morning News it’s a “once in a lifetime chance” for the Pittsburgh area.

“It’s been on exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum since 1969. It’s never left there but the Smithsonian is undergoing a major remodel and their putting their best stuff on the road to their best affiliates and the Smithsonian chose the Heinz History Center to host the capsule and all the other moon flown stuff from 1969.”

The History Center and three other museums are going to be the only ones to host the exhibit.

“We’re the only museum east of the Mississippi River to get it, so we’re the East Coast venue for this.”

Masich says it’s appropriate the exhibit is coming to Pittsburgh. NASA estimates it took about 400,000 people to put a man on the moon and many of them came from Pittsburgh.

“North American Rockwell from Pittsburgh built that capsule. Alcoa aluminum built the aluminum for the lunar lander and the Saturn five rocket. ATI, up in Brackenridge made the specialty steel. MSA made the breathing apparatus for the astronauts. Westinghouse made those cameras that brought us those images from the moon nearly 50 years ago,” said Masich. “The bottom line is American couldn’t put a man on the moon without Pittsburgh.”

Destination Moon launces on September 29 but you can buy you get advanced tickets on the History Center’s website.

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