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Apollo 11 module, exhibit headed to Pittsburgh's Heinz History Center

| Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, 1:33 p.m.
The Command Module Columbia from the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon.

The Senator John Heinz History Center will be one of four Smithsonian-affiliated museums next year to serve as host for the exhibit “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission.”

The Pittsburgh exhibit, from Sept. 29, 2018, to Feb. 18, 2019, is part of a two-year national tour. It will take place while the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum completes renovations leading up to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in 2019. The other stops include the Houston Space Center, the St. Louis Science Center and the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

The exhibition's centerpiece is the Command Module Columbia — the only portion of the historic spacecraft to complete the first mission to land a man on the moon and safely return him to Earth. It will mark the first time since the museum opened in 1976 that the Command Module Columbia will leave the National Air and Space Museum. The exhibit also features dozens of other artifacts from the historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969, with the crew of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin.

“It is fitting that the ‘Smithsonian's home in Pittsburgh' will host this exhibition, since innovations from Pittsburgh companies such as Westinghouse, Alcoa, North American Rockwell, Union Switch & Signal and others played an important role in putting a man on the moon,” History Center CEO Andy Masich said in a news release.

“Destination Moon” will include an interactive 3-D tour, created from high-resolution scans of Columbia performed in spring 2016 at the Smithsonian.

The interactives will allow visitors to explore the entire craft including its intricate interior, which has been inaccessible to the public until now.

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