The Armstrong Air and space Museum, located in Wapakoneta, is dedicated to the life of Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the moon. Although small in comparison to some other well known Air and Space museums, the museum is packed full of information and artifacts.
The difference between a good museum and a pile of artifacts is the story told. The Armstrong museum tells a great story. While Neil Armstrong is a major component of the story, he is but a single component. The overall tale off how NASA and the American space program evolved to the point where it could land a man on the moon is the main focus of the museum.
From the replica of the first satellite to the Gemini space capsule to the replica Mars Rover the artifacts help tell the tale of man’s journey from the ground to the moon. The museum is setup chronologically from the start of the space race to the “one small step.” Winding up a single ramp the infographs and artifacts are arranged in such a way to highlight the history and compliment each other. Even young kids will find something interesting around every corner. The museum is full of actual artifacts from the space race, and replicas of some items left on the surface of the moon.
In the middle of the museum is the infinity room, which simulates the vastness of space, and the iconic Astro theater. The domed theater plays a film about the Apollo 11 mission and the men who first landed on the moon.
After the movie the museum focuses on the space programs transition beyond the moon. While the simulators are fun in this section and there is a lot of information, it is not a detailed as the first half.
A great feature of the museum is that it is very Ohio space centric. Make sure to check out the map of all the locations in Ohio that help manufacture parts for NASA, or the Gallery of photos of all Astronauts from the Buckeye state. Even the gift shop overflows with Ohio merchandise (along with a lot of space toys for the kids and NASA memorabilia for the Adults)
P.s: The museum is included in an Ohio Historical Membership.