For years now, I have been a huge NASA nerd. I have always loved learning about space, and rockets and astronauts from a young age.
This passion of mine has come to a head in the past couple of years, as I have actively searched out new and exciting information about space exploration. A good majority of the highly advertised SpaceX launches occurred while I was in high school, and I can remember a group of my friends and I huddling around an iPad and watching the highlights with great excitement.
A great amount of the videos and articles on Adam Savage’s Tested.com deal with what’s new and going on with things at NASA, along with deep dives into the technology and engineering that went into the suits that astronauts wore throughout history. Savage actually owns a collection of replica suits from just about every NASA mission era, which is just the coolest thing I have ever heard.
Well, with all this in mind, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that there would be an exhibit at Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center called Destination Moon that would have a large set of Apollo 11 memorabilia and the actual command module Columbia.
I think that it goes without saying that this was one of the most exciting day trips I have ever taken. The place was absolutely packed, and the traffic getting there was kind of nuts, as it always is in Pittsburgh, but I was not deterred. The exhibit featured a walk through the history of the space program as a whole, mainly concerned with the Apollo missions, but also touching upon Mercury and Gemini.
After making our way through the maze of background information, the exhibit opened up into a large room that held the actual command module that brought Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins to the moon.
Besides the fact that this was a huge moment for me, this was also awesome because it wasn’t encased in Plexiglas, as it would normally be. I got the opportunity to not only see the module up close, but also take pictures of it without the glare of the glass that plagues many other photos of the capsule on display.
I took hundreds of photos and probably was an absolute pain in the neck as I tried to show my mom how to use my DSLR to get a good picture of me in front of the capsule.
While many small children were there, it also attracted a good amount of elderly folks, who I could see were getting very emotional throughout the entire exhibit.
This is just me, but I really find it awesome that the idea of space exploration, and the men and women who made it possible, is so accessible to not only the people who lived through it, but down through each generation.
It’s not often that you see things like this that so universally break down generational barriers, and I am very proud to say that my passion is one of them.
If you visit gannonknight.com, I’ll be posting photos from my trip and you can see a small sampling of the fantastic exhibits I got to see, plus a couple of me just being awestruck at the idea of being this close to something that was in space.