The Apollo program turns 50 years old!

The Apollo program turns 50 years old!

This year, we are recalling NASA’s Apollo historical program, starting with the terrible tragedy of Apollo 1.

2017 marks an important period in manned space flight. This is the year when Apollo 1 was supposed to make the first mission with people on board. On January 27, 1967, the training ended with the death of three astronauts. Then the technicians focused on safety and crew training, thanks to which two years later Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.

So, starting with the 50th anniversary of Apollo this month, other anniversaries are expected in the coming years: Apollo 1 (January), Apollo 8 flight to the Moon (December 2018), Apollo 11 journey to the lunar surface (July 2019 g), the “successful failure” of Apollo 13 (April 2020) and the last landing of Apollo 17 (December 2022). These are great dates. But what value do they have for today's generation? On this issue began to think in museums and exhibit new exhibits to revive the memories.

For example, in the Kansas Space and Space Center in Hutchinson, a temporary January exhibition is being prepared dedicated to Apollo-1. Exhibits provided by a private collector Ray Katz. The artifacts include an emergency plan, the top layer of the working area on the day of the tragedy, and a schematic book that belonged to the astronaut Walt Cunningham (later flew out on Apollo 7).

The collection manager, Shannon Wetzel, added to the younger generation: “This is all that the museum has for now. But we are taking certain steps to expand. We also have the Apollo 13 command module, arrived from the Smithsonian Institution. The spacecraft exploded in April 1970 on the way to the moon, but the crew managed to return safely. However, the mission was considered a failure, as it failed to achieve the main goal. ”

The Apollo program turns 50 years old!

Damage to the Apollo 1 command module after a fire broke out in a spacecraft during a landing test. Three astronauts were killed. January 1967

“We have learned many lessons from this failure,” says Wetzel, referring to regular flights to the International Space Station today. Flights are still dangerous, but to a lesser extent due to events with Apollo 13 and other programs. “This is exactly what the museum is trying to emphasize,” she added.

There are other museum innovations. There is a popular scientific program “Goddard Laboratory” that explores the lives and exploits of the inventor and developer Robert Goddard. Some of the materials they are going to put on the Internet so that people can access without direct visits. The education department also has a “Apollo Direction” program that helps students solve problems similar to Apollo 13. It attracts a young audience. Even corporate groups have used this program to rally their employees.

The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, meanwhile, is expanding the catch thanks to its exhibits. Gallery "Apollo on the Moon" opened in 1976, but soon it will be closed and completely redone for a new exhibition. It will demonstrate how national politics and the Cold War influenced the fact that Apollo could achieve its goal in a short time in the 1960s. Curator Alan Nedell believes that it will be interesting for young people.

The exhibit floor has also changed. The lunar module 2, located next to the cafe, now occupies a central position in the new lobby, commemorating the anniversary of flights. The Apollo 11 command module is also undergoing restoration (and 3D visualization to appear in a new light).

The Apollo program turns 50 years old!

Neil Armstrong's suit and gloves - the first man on the moon. Presented this year at the exhibition of the National Museum of Aviation and Aerospace in Shanti, Virginia.

The suit of the commander of Apollo 11 Neil Armstrong was not shown for a long time, but now his helmet and gloves are on display for all to see.

Having collected money for Kickstarter (“Costume reloading”) in 2015, the museum is working on more effective ways to demonstrate the spacesuit and are going to expose a full costume for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's birth. Nedell says that there is a problem with the microbial environment destroying the suit. Therefore, experts are looking for the best way to save it.

“We are just starting to discuss cooperation between government programs and the Smithsonian Bureau,” added Nedell. - “Public interest is expected to increase, especially from the younger generation. For them, it is like the Spanish-American War or World War II. It is important for us that they understand the significance of these events. ”

Some Apollo cosmonauts are still alive (albeit in old age). Nedell does not exclude that one of them can take part in public events.

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