RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Inside the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, you’ll find an exhibit that’s out of this world. Its called ‘Apollo: When We Went to the Moon.’ This exhibit truly shows us how the space race hit close to home.

The twelve men who walked or drove on the moon will be remembered in history forever. That achievement would not have been possible without the hard work of Virginians.

In the 1960s, mankind embarked on its greatest adventure — to reach the surface of the moon. It wasn’t easy.

Andrew Talkov is the senior director for curatorial affairs at the museum.

Talkov said it details the triumphs and challenges of America’s journey to the lunar surface. Aside from the exhibits there are fun opportunities like sitting in a full-scale mockup of the lunar rover. There’s also a whole separate section highlighting the commonwealth’s role.

Full scale mockup of lunar rover at Apollo: When We Went to the moon at VMHC

“If there’s anything that we as Virginians need to remember about the space, the human space program, is that it started here,” said Talkov.

Decades before America launched its first astronaut, the federal government built its first civilian aeronautical lab at Langley field near Hampton.

Since the dawn of the space race, the facility has been used to test rockets and assess capsules for re-entry.

But we literally could not have completed the Apollo 11 moon landing without Virginia scientists.

“It was an engineer at Langley who had to convince NASA that the best way to go to the moon by the end of the 1960s was called Lunar Orbit Rendezvous,” said Talkov.

This is the process of a large spacecraft releasing a series of smaller vehicles to land and return from the moon. It was revolutionary at the time. The format is still being used for when we go back to the moon this decade.

This exhibit shows how we as Americans and as Virginians embarked on the ultimate adventure.

As we prepare for our next chapter on the moon, its important to know how we got here.
This will be open through the end of the year. If you’d like more information, click here.