Experience the lunar landing with original Apollo 11 console

Rexburg

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The traveling exhibit for an Apollo 11 Mission Control console is officially open. | Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com

REXBURG — Locals can now look back 50 years and get a glimpse of the excitement in the Apollo Mission Control Room moments before astronauts made the first ever lunar landing on July 20, 1969.

The Museum of Rexburg has secured a portion of the original console used at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas during the Apollo 11 mission.

“This is unique to Rexburg because there’s only going to be six of these pieces done and we are the only ones in Idaho so far that has been able to have this come,” Assistant curator Alisha Tietjen says.

The console comes from the Cosmosphere, a space museum and STEM education center in Hutchinson, Kansas. The Museum of Rexburg is co-hosting the 50th Anniversary traveling exhibit with the Legacy Flight Museum. A ribbon cutting for the exhibit was held at the flight museum Monday morning.

Tietjen says the exhibit is something most locals may not have the chance to experience because of our location.

An original console used in the Apollo 11 mission nearly 50 years ago. | Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com

“Being able to have this come here and being able to experience (this) is amazing,” Tietjen says.

The exhibit teaches the history and significance of mission control and the Apollo 11 Mission. It shows mission controllers were responsible for protecting the crew, spacecraft and mission. Their decisions affected the safety and success of the mission. Actual data from the 1969 mission is displayed as patrons interact with this piece of history.

“It gives kids of all ages the opportunity to … experience the moon landing,” Tietjen says. “You can get on and do biographies and listen to how different people used the console.”

Tietjen this exhibit also allows locals to reflect the history and connect with the past.

“It gives people a chance who might have experienced the moon landing to be able to share that with their children,” Tietjen says.

Photo by Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com

The console will be available for the public to view June 17 until Sept. 30.

“We’re really excited to be able to offer this through the summer especially because the moon landing did occur in July, so it will be here during the 50th anniversary,” Tietjen says.

The exhibit is housed at the Legacy Flight Museum at 400 Airport Road in Rexburg. Tietjen said if patrons buy a ticket to the Legacy Flight Museum it may also be used at the Museum of Rexburg. She says the Rexburg museum also showcases an interactive lunar exhibit and a cutout of astronaut Buzz Aldrin who walked on the moon.

Ribbon cutting ceremony. | Photo courtesy, Anthony Tietjen
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