What is the 'Apollo at the Park' and why is it coming to Minute Maid Park?

This photo, taken July 16, 1969, shows Apollo 11 crew members, led by Neil Armstrong, heading for the van that will take them to the rocket for the launch to the moon. (AP Photo/NASA) (Associated Press)

HOUSTON – The Houston Astros and Minute Maid Park will be one of several Major League Baseball stadiums to host the 'Apollo at the Park' program showcasing the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will present the program, which will feature full-size statues of Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit.

"'Apollo at the Park' will celebrate the energy Americans felt when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon," said Ellen Stofan, director of the museum. "Baseball ballparks are the perfect venues for new generations to learn more about that summer night July 20, 1969, and they allow us to celebrate Apollo’s 50th across the country."

According to the Smithsonian, Armstrong’s spacesuit was digitized after a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, and the ballpark statues will be created using a 3D scan of the spacesuit.

The first statue will be unveiled June 4 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Many of the ballclubs will host Apollo-themed events, athough no specific date for the Houston display has been announced.

Each statue will have an interactive component where fans can use their phones to scan parts of the suit to access videos and information about the Apollo 11 mission.

Participating ballparks are:

  • SunTrust Park - Atlanta Braves    
  • Target Field - Minnesota Twins
  • Fenway Park - Boston Red Sox    
  • Yankee Stadium - New York Yankees
  • Wrigley Field - Chicago Cubs    
  • PNC Park - Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Great American Ball Park - Cincinnati Reds    
  • Oracle Park - San Francisco Giants
  • Progressive Field - Cleveland Indians    
  • T-Mobile Park - Seattle Mariners
  • Coors Field - Colorado Rockies    
  • Tropicana Field - Tampa Bay Rays
  • Comerica Park - Detroit Tigers    
  • Nationals Park - Washington Nationals
  • Minute Maid Park - Houston Astros

Armstrong's spacesuit will go on display at the Smithsonian on July 16 for the first time in 13 years.

For more information about the Smithsonian's coverage, click here.