American Space Museum
308 Pine Street, Titusville, FL 32796 - United States
The American Space Museum’s first mission is preservation, followed closely by education and inspiration. We offer one-of-a-kind features such as John Glenn’s hard hat from Project Mercury, the stuck thruster that almost killed Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott in Gemini VIII, working mission control consoles from Apollo and the Shuttle program, AND amazing people – most of our docents/volunteers worked in the space program and speak from personal experience!
Indeed, we are truly “the keepers of the character of the American space program.” That is, we seek to preserve and promote the individual stories of the astronauts, launch directors, engineers, administrators, support staff and, in fact, everyone who made possible our astounding advances in space exploration and research.
We provide a compelling linear tour through the history of the American space program...from America’s response to Sputnik through projects Mercury and Gemini and into the triumph of Apollo and the progress of the Shuttle.
We are, after all, the American Space Museum & WALK of Fame– a walk through space history! We not only walk visitors into history but we will encourage them to continue their journey just down the street at Space View Park through the beautiful and moving Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle monuments.
Our enhanced exhibit hall offers active and compelling narrative, a dramatic treatment of artifacts and displays, the option for either docent-led or self-guided tours, as well as rotating exhibits, and a singular experience that can only happen at a facility dedicated to “Preserving Achievement; Inspiring Innovation”.
Visit the Women Making Space History Gallery along with the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Shuttle and Cape Canaveral Galleries. Take part in a scavenger hunt, and speak with docents who worked in the space program.
Women in Space Gallery
This room is dedicated to the many women who have served as astronauts.
Project Mercury Gallery
This room pays tribute to the astronauts, the engineers and the innovators who dreamed the dream…and made it a reality! Featuring such gems as an original Mercury lighted space glove, an explosive hatch from a Mercury spacecraft (remember the problem encountered by Liberty Bell 7?), real banana pellets fed to the “first” astronauts (Ham, Enos, Able and Baker), a couple of “naughty ladies” who orbited the earth with John Glenn and Scott Carpenter, and so much more, this room is dedicated to the story of Mercury, our first steps into space.
Here you will see the goals and objectives of the project, as well as the personalities and conflicts, the funny stories and the near tragedies of this innovative and inspirational phase of America’s space program. Meet the astronauts as REAL people, find out about design innovators like Max Faget, hear about the challenges faced by the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, find out why the astronauts hated the word “capsule”. Discover why Gus Grissom is the only astronaut to wear a women’s panty girdle into space — or why Al Shepard traveled skyward in a “wet suit.” Learn about interesting local legends like car dealer Jim Rathman, who kept the astronauts in Corvettes and helped create a nationwide mystique, or Henri Landwirth, a concentration camp survivor who hosted the original seven astronauts at his motel in downtown Cocoa Beach.
Project Gemini Gallery
After soaking in the energy and innovation of Project Mercury, head next door to Project Gemini. There you will meet the next generation of astronauts, engineers, mission control specialists, and more – the folks who taught us how to survive in space for more than a few hours, and those who perfected rendezvous and docking, EVA (space walking), sleeping in space and, yes, eating and using the bathroom up there, as well.
Learn why the Gemini spacecraft was nicknamed the “Gusmobile” and why Gus Grissom caught flack from NASA for christening his Gemini 3 spacecraft “The Molly Brown.”
See photos and video or listen to audio from some of our most challenging missions. Did you know that Astronaut Tom Stafford was actually advised to leave Gene Cernan in space and return to earth alone from their Gemini 9 mission? Find out why in our Gemini Exhibit Hall!
The Gemini gallery will walk you through the chronology of the entire project, from the Molly Brown through to the triumphant work done by “Dr. Rendezvous” himself, Buzz Aldrin, on Gemini XII.
Project Apollo Gallery
This is our largest gallery because Apollo still fascinates and inspires like no other project in our space program. It was the era of triumph, the project through which man conquered the moon! The exhibits recall the drama and determination as thousands of Americans labored to make the coveted moon landing a reality. The gallery will take you from the triumphant launch of Apollo 7 – the first mission after the tragic fire of Apollo 1– through the testing of the spindly little LM (lunar module.) You will experience the challenges and danger of Apollo 8 – man’s first mission to travel to another celestial body – followed by the progressive missions of Apollo 9 and 10, and culminating in the triumph of Apollo 11, which put mankind on the moon.
But Apollo didn’t end with the moon landing. Many more strides were made by missions 12-17. Every single Apollo mission had its own unique challenges and dangers…and every single one gave us progressive advancements that continue to improve the quality of life for all mankind.
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