Apollo Exhibit (Hangar Bay One)
With the first and last men to walk on the Moon and six of the seven Apollo missions to the moon commanded by Naval Aviators, the Museum's exhibit dedicated to the Apollo program is a fitting commemoration of the Navy’s role in space exploration as well as a reminder of a signature period in American history.
In addition to the lunar module replica, the exhibit incorporates a replica Apollo spacesuit and lunar rover, all positioned on a surface made to resemble the dusty landscape of the Moon, complete with footprints. An interesting storyline that has not been presented to museum visitors before is the Navy’s role in the recovery of the Apollo command modules after splashdown. To this end, visitors can get an up-close look at a boilerplate capsule of the type used for training recovery crews and an array of artifacts used during the recovery of the Apollo XI astronauts, many on loan from the Naval History and Heritage Command, notably the rescue basket in which Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were hoisted up to an SH-3 Sea King helicopter for transport to the antisubmarine warfare carrier Hornet (CVS 12).
In addition to artifacts, the exhibit presents the sights and sounds of Apollo through a network of directional speakers and monitors. Editing the rich collection of footage shot by NASA, museum staff created short films that present a veritable anatomy of an Apollo mission from launch to surface activity on the Moon to splashdown.