October 14, 2017, UNITED STATES, The recent hurricane and deluge that put much of Houston, Texas, under water closed the Space Center for several days, but it reopens in time to display the Apollo 11 command module and kick-off the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Moon landing in 2019.
The museum reopened on Sep 2, pledging to donate a percentage of money from ticket sales to the hurricane relief effort.
Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed the lunar module Eagle on the Moon on Jul 20, 1969.
Columbia transported them on the nearly 1-million-mile journey to the Moon and back. It was the main living area for the three-man crew, which included Michael Collins. Columbia is the only part of the spacecraft that returned to Earth.
An estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong's televised image from the Moon and heard his voice describe the event as he took "...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
Columbia’s other stops are at: St. Louis Science Center — Apr 14–Sep 3, 2018; Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh — Sep 29, 2018–Feb 18, 2019; and The Museum of Flight, Seattle — Mar 16–Sep 2, 2019.
Columbia will be on display at Seattle's Museum of Flight on the actual 50th anniversary in 2019. It is the last stop before it returns to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. It will be the centerpiece of a new Destination Moon exhibit at the museum, which will open in 2021 to tell the story of lunar exploration from ancient times to today.
Date written/update: 2017-03-10