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Author Topic:   Apollo 11 command module 50 state tour (1970)
aneedell
Member

Posts: 63
From: Washington, DC
Registered: Mar 2004

posted 11-10-2014 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for aneedell   Click Here to Email aneedell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone seen or know where I can find a picture of the inside of the van which took Columbia on its 50 state tour in 1970/71?

What I'm interested in is finding out exactly what items were displayed along with the command module and its hatch. I know there was a Norman Rockwell painting, I'm not sure which one, and the tour report lists a "navigation map" and a "computer readout sheet" along with several other items I can readily identify.

------------------
Allan Needell
Space History Division
National Air and Space Museum

rjurek349
Member

Posts: 1096
From: Chicago, IL
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 11-10-2014 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Allan, please contact me via e-mail.

We covered the 50 State Tour in our book "Marketing the Moon" and have a full chapter on it. We include the layout diagram of the entire truck, including display diagram in the book. But I also have LOADS of additional info (original press kit, original NASA report on the results of the tour, etc. etc.). We should talk — there is a lot that didn't make it in the book, despite it covering a whole chapter.

But listed on the layout schematic (which we have in the book) are:

  • Rockwell painting of the LM on surface
  • Three life size color photos of astronauts
  • Six flown artifacts from the flight — Aldrin's glove, navigation map, clock timer, computer readout sheet, space food, sunglasses, and pen
  • Call outs describing vital parts of capsule
  • Color photos of mission
  • Saturn V cut-away
  • The capsule itself
  • And an Apollo 11 moon rock
The chapter in our book is titled: The Apollo Road Show, and we provide a fascinating look at the tour from the perspective of Chuck Biggs, who helped design it, and the wonderful Elwood Johnson, who drove with on most of the 50 state visits and served as the tour manager.

On the specific Rockwell painting, I believe it was "Man's First Step on the Moon" — but will confirm with my notes when I get home.

(We also cover the behind the scenes story of the Rockwell painting as well.)

jcooney
New Member

Posts: 1
From: Indianapolis, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2015

posted 02-09-2015 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jcooney   Click Here to Email jcooney     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Richard, thanks to you and David for writing your book on "Marketing the Moon"! The material you both offer us stirs up again good memories for me of those years when we were looking 'up above the world so high' and hoping to catch a glimpse of our spacemen heroes.

This what you offer in your post here comments on the discovery I made in reading in your book about the National Tour. I did myself attend the capsule display in Albany, NY. I wondered for years just what the memories were that I had about what I saw once. Your book with the chapter on the tour gave me the answers to my wondering all these years. I see now that it was the Apollo 11 capsule that I saw in Albany one autumn Sunday afternoon when I was in high school.

In your book I strained to read the tiny text on the illustration listing the tour cities and dates. I could make out that the capsule was in Albany in early October, 1970. Your chapter telling this whole story helps me recover my personal memory of seeing it.

The trailer was set up on the big park lawn west of the grand New York State Capitol Building. This was a family event for us and we stood in line with hundreds of other people waiting our turn to walk through the display. I remember how you could reach in and touch the capsule. I recall how my brother and I even could reach in and somehow touch the torched surface of the capsule bottom. Some of the charred material even came away under our fingernails. Oops!

Thanks again to you and David for your absorbing book! When I saw this post you offered, I jumped at the chance here to register and offer a comment and a compliment to you. It was just this past weekend that I finally got to browse your book. But I read the whole section on the National Tour. I was so fascinated by what you told, that I did a search here just now and found this site. When I saw your name I just had to write this note.

Reading your book this weekend was part of seeming alignment of special things. The space station was visible over Indianapolis on Friday night. I missed seeing it, but I have watched it at other times. But I also missed seeing Air Force One when it flew over our campus here in Indianapolis on Friday bringing the President in for a Town Hall meeting with our students. He is stumping for his bold venture to fund community college tuition for qualified students — those with the 'right stuff' we presume!

So I guess things are still 'looking up' in our world even as men going to the Moon is an ever more distant memory. I'm glad to be old enough to remember the excitement of that decade of grand space exploration. May your marvelous new book now give us all something 'brand' new to see under the Moon.

(I wonder if Norman Rockwell made a visit to see the National Tour in Albany. He lived just over the state line in MA and the drive would have been shorter by far for him than up to Montpelier.)

— John J. Cooney, MA, MBA
Humanities Program Chair
Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana

rjurek349
Member

Posts: 1096
From: Chicago, IL
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 02-09-2015 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John, thanks so very much for the kind words about "Marketing the Moon." I am so glad you enjoyed the book — but more importantly, I am very pleased it helped to bring back so many great memories! You were one of just 42,500 people who turned out to visit the capsule on its 26th stop along its historic 50 State Tour.

Thanks, again, for sharing your memory with us, and for the kind words about the book! Welcome to collectSPACE! All the best, Richard

Ronpur
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Posts: 1045
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 02-10-2015 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My family went to the Illinois State Fair in Springfield in what I assume was August 1971 to see Columbia. I have a scan of the old photo my Mom took. Back then, film wasn't cheap so we only have the one photo. If I had a camera. I would have taken more pictures of the spacecraft.

I will have to get this book to help my memories.

I am on the right, next to my brother. I wish I had that t-shirt still!

rjurek349
Member

Posts: 1096
From: Chicago, IL
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 02-10-2015 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Awesome photo and memory! (And yes, a great T-shirt, too!)

Glint
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Posts: 956
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 02-22-2017 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ronpur:
My family went to the Illinois State Fair in Springfield in what I assume was August 1971 to see Columbia.

According to the last two paragraphs of this article the tour wasn't just to the 50 states, but Columbia toured the 50 U.S. capitals. That's why you saw it in Springfield.

I saw it too on the same tour, but in Lincoln, NE. I remember that although the exhibit was outdoors, there was a very long line to see it, though I cannot recall where it was parked for display.

Ronpur
Member

Posts: 1045
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 02-24-2017 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice article, I love that Neil's parents just get in line like everyone else at the Ohio State fair. A gentleman on Facebook I know went to the Illinois State Fair to see it and posted these three photos. Apparently it was August 1970, not 1971 like I thought at first.

LM-12
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Posts: 2186
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-24-2017 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photo 70-H-1005 is dated July 20, 1970 and shows the Apollo 11 crew at the command module.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 36549
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-24-2017 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The photo (70-H-1005) was taken in Jefferson City, Missouri.

rjurek349
Member

Posts: 1096
From: Chicago, IL
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 02-24-2017 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We tell that story for the first time of Neil's parents in "Marketing the Moon." The NASA official was Elwood Johnson. Armstrong's parents were deeply moved by the exhibit. And, as Johnson described them, "Salt of the Earth people..."

aneedell
Member

Posts: 63
From: Washington, DC
Registered: Mar 2004

posted 02-25-2017 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for aneedell   Click Here to Email aneedell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Last Time the Command Module Columbia Toured
Before it was entrusted to the Smithsonian for preservation and public display, Columbia went on another, now largely forgotten, journey. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) organized and executed an ambitious public tour of a Moon rock, Neil Armstrong's lunar extravehicular activity (EVA) spacesuit, several small items that had returned from the mission, and the Command Module Columbia. Stopping at 49 state capitals, the District of Columbia, and Anchorage Alaska, the tour provided Americans with a unique opportunity to view and marvel at these historic items. When the tour was over, in 1971, Columbia was relocated to Washington, DC. It has been cared for and displayed by the Smithsonian Institution ever since, until now.

As you prepare to see Columbia in one of the four stops of the tour, relive its first journey across the US here with pages from NASA's 1971 report for the "Fifty-State National Tour" along with images from that period.

Ronpur
Member

Posts: 1045
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 02-25-2017 09:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there a copy of the complete NASA Fifty States tour report online?

rjurek349
Member

Posts: 1096
From: Chicago, IL
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 02-26-2017 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know if it is available in full online, but I have the final report. It is a fascinating read, as you can see by the pages Allan put on his blog post. (Send me an email, and I will send you a pdf, if interested).

Larry McGlynn
Member

Posts: 1008
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 02-26-2017 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read Alan's article and it reminded me of one of the last chapters in "Marketing the Moon." Same photos and similar comments. I wish I had known that the Apollo 11 spacecraft was coming to my state.

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