The 50th Anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon Landing will take place this July. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first individuals to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969 forever leaving their mark on spaceflight history. Some of the artifacts they carried to the moon now rest in a museum in western Oklahoma.
The Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford announced that two very important pieces that flew on this monumental mission are now on display – a swatch of wing fabric and a fragment of the propeller from the actual Wright Flyer that Neil Armstrong carried with him to the moon.
A statement from Armstrong’s biography states, “He is most clear about, and most proud of, the pieces of the historic Wright Flyer that he took to the Moon. Under a special arrangement, he took in his LM (Lunar Module) personal preference kit, a piece of wood from the Wright brothers’ 1903 airplane’s left propeller and a piece of muslin fabric (8 x 13 inches) from its upper left wing.”
To have these incredible artifacts in the Stafford museum collection is a major acquisition. These are extremely rare and important pieces of aerospace history. Pieces from the first powered aircraft to successfully fly in 1903, then carried to the moon by the first man to walk on the lunar surface in 1969, the “Holy Grail” of aerospace artifacts.
The early aviation gallery in the museum contains a full-scale replica of the Wright Flyer, and these new artifacts are distinctly displayed in a unique antique safe next to the aircraft. The museum continues to gain national prominence through its growing collection, and is currently adding a 20,000 sq. foot expansion.
The expansion will include an F-117 Nighthawk, a full-scale Lunar Module, and many more new and exciting exhibits. The museum has worked closely with Smithsonian Institution, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force Museum to assemble one of the finest collections of aerospace artifacts in the central United States.