EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 will commemorated the Apollo program, and it started with a new exhibit at the EAA Aviation Museum. The exhibit, which was provided by NASA, focuses mainly on the Apollo missions, both manned and unmanned, but also pays homage to other NASA missions leading up to and resulting from Apollo.
“The overall scope is commemorating and celebrating NASA and Apollo,” said John Oldham, exhibits specialist and lunar sample coordinator at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. “The Apollo mission was more than just the missions that went to the moon, so we tried to give a bit of a timeline here.”
Models of spacecraft used in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions make up one part of the overall exhibit, which includes a moon rock brought back during Apollo 15, a lunar module ascent stage engine that was space flight worthy, a space suit, other lunar surface gear, and plenty of photographs giving the history of the Apollo program.
The exhibit also includes photos of each manned Apollo crew and each of the American crews that went to space for the Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz missions, as part of an effort to commemorate the pilots who contributed to the space program. Many of the astronauts pictured in the exhibit will be attending AirVenture as part of EAA’s Salute to Apollo.
“Since this is celebrating Apollo, being an aviation community, we obviously like to recognize the piloting that was done in monumental things like Apollo,” John said.
In addition to the artifacts and photographs, information explaining the history and significance of the Apollo program is displayed in the exhibit as well.
EAA Aviation Museum Director Bob Campbell said the artifacts in the exhibit tie in nicely with the Apollo commemoration at AirVenture 2017.
“With the Apollo celebration coming at AirVenture they wanted to bring up some things that were reflective of the astronauts who are going to be here,” Bob said.
Many of the items, like the space suit and the moon rock, have traveled to and or from space as part of an Apollo mission. Getting a chance to see such well-traveled items is rare, as human beings have not been back to the moon’s surface since the Apollo 17 crew visited in 1972.
Visitors to the EAA Aviation Museum now through October can see all of the NASA items and soak up the history behind the daring realization of John F. Kennedy’s stated goal of putting a man on the moon – and getting him home safely.
The photos and videos here provide a glimpse into the exhibit, but visiting the museum is the only way to get a true appreciation for the history currently residing in Oshkosh.