clock 10 am – 5pm
Man and child look over a diorama of the Apollo 15 landing site.
Explore | Exhibit

Aerospace

Explore space artifacts from the Apollo era, from astronaut’s space suits to the actual Mercury capsule that carried the first U.S. animal into orbit. There’s even a prototype of the Apollo 15 Lunar Lander and a real moon rock! Spot your house on our satellite mapping table, climb inside a command module and imagine a safe trip back to Earth, or test your hand at finding the perfect launch window.

Want to experiment with principles of flight? Be sure to check out Launch Lab, located in the Aerospace gallery.

Adult and child in Aerospace gallery using the turntable.

Around and Around

Experiment with rotational motion—and collisions!—when you roll disks across the turntable. As the disks roll in a straight line across the rotating surface, they appear to take a curved path, a principle known as the Coriolis effect. This principle is important for any type of science that deals with the Earth and it's planetary motion, from studying ocean patterns to setting flight paths.
Two girls sit inside of a prototype command module.

Imagine Space Travel

Get a feel for space travel as you explore this real Command Module prototype! The interior is the same size as the one three astronauts shared for an eight-day mission.
Three children stand in front of an aerospace exhibit demonstrating how space shuttles dock with the ISS.

Rendezvous in Space

Two of the most important tasks in space are rendezvous (bringing two objects close together) and docking (bringing two objects into physical contact). Attempt a successful rendezvous by aligning your shuttle with the satellite.

Explore the Dawn of Space Travel

The Aerospace gallery is one of the largest collections of Apollo-era artifacts in the state. With items on loan from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and NASA Langley Research Center, it’s an impressive representation of the dawn of American space travel.

Marvel at the Mercury-Atlas 5, the first American spacecraft to orbit the Earth with a passenger. On November 29, 1961, a chimpanzee named Enos was launched into space, for a 2-orbit flight lasting 3 hours and 21 minutes. This successful flight served as the final test before John Glenn’s historic orbital flight 3 months later.

Explore a re-creation of the Apollo 15 landing site, featuring the final test mock-up of the actual lunar module launched into space. On July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 launched Commander David Scott, Lunar Module pilot James Irwin, and Command Module pilot Al Worden into lunar orbit. There they tested the first lunar rover and collected 171 pounds of lunar samples—including the Museum’s very own moon rock.

Closeup of astronaut and lunar lander in diorama of the Apollo 15 landing site.