The Advantage Blog

Vacation Destinations that Take You Out of this World

50 years ago this month on July 20, 1969 American astronaut Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon’s surface. 

It was an historic event as NASA accomplished the challenge of going to the moon by the end of the decade set forth by President John F. Kennedy to our nation in 1962.

Following the Apollo 11 mission there were five more manned spacecraft landings on the moon by U.S. astronauts between 1969 and 1972.

With our local Purdue ties to the astronaut program we have had an opportunity to hear about the exploits of Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan (the last man to walk on the moon) and other Purdue alumni who have soared into space.

For those wishing to delve into the long history of accomplishment and tragic loss associated with the United States’ space program here are vacation destinations that will take you out of this world.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Throughout 2019 the U.S. Space & Rocket Center located in Huntsville, AL will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing. Events throughout the year include moon landing reenactments and special exhibits. A 50th anniversary parade on July 19 will bring back memories of the one held 50 years ago.

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas manages flight control for America’s human space program. It has served as mission control for the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo–Soyuz, and Space Shuttle missions, and also handles ground control for the American portion of the International Space Station.

There are a number of exciting exhibits including the Starship and Astronaut Galleries, replicas of the Space Shuttle and more on future goals including going to Mars.

For the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing NASA has opened the doors to the restored Mission Control Center (MCC) from which Apollo-era flight controllers guided astronauts on the first bold voyages to the moon, and safely home.

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, Florida
Since December 1968, the John F. Kennedy Space Center has been NASA’s primary launch center of human spaceflight. Launch operations for the Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs were carried out from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39.  Located on the east coast of Florida, KSC is adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complexâ„  allows you to weave your way through the U.S. Space Program starting with the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle programs.  Walk amount the giant rockets in Rocket Park, visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame and much more.

In conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing they have developed special interactive programs.

Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Wapakoneta, Ohio
A three hour, 165 mile drive due east of Lafayette will bring you to the hometown of Neil Armstrong, first man to set foot on the Moon. The Armstrong Air and Space Museum chronicles Armstrong’s contributions to the history of space flight.

Among the items on display are an F5D Skylancer, the Gemini 8 spacecraft in which Armstrong flew (and in which he made the first space docking), Apollo 11 artifacts and a Moon rock. In the museum’s Astro-theater, multimedia presentations of the sights and sounds of space unfold against a starry background.

The museum is designed for the experiential learner. There are seven interactive exhibits, ten audio/visual elements, and three simulators. Visitors can practice landing the Lunar Module and Space Shuttle or docking the Gemini spacecraft, just as Neil Armstrong did in 1966.

Enjoy Your Summer
The Mitchell Agency hopes you have an exciting and fun-packed summer. It is a great time to learn more about our nation’s exploration of the moon and beyond.