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'Apollo at the Park' coming to Houston's Minute Maid Park

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum revealed the first of 15 statues to be placed at American baseball parks nationwide to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

One of the statues will be in Houston.

What is it?

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum announced Apollo at the Park, a program to display full-sized statues of Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit in 15 Major League Baseball stadiums across the country this summer. The statue is the most detailed and accurate spacesuit statue due to the way it was made. Museum officials said visitors can see fabric lines and moon dust markings, among many other details that were on Armstrong's suit.

 

 

"Apollo at the Park will celebrate the energy Americans felt when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon,” said Ellen Stofan, the museum's John and Adrienne Mars director. “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.”

How was the statue created?

The creation of the suit statue was made possible by the Smithsonian's 3-D scanner. Cathleen Lewis, the International Space Programs and Spacesuits curator at the National Air and Space Museum, said it took a total of 20 gigabytes of data and 70 million polygons to get the scan, which she said is the most accurate depiction of any spacesuit. The statues are made of a blend of rigid resin for outdoor display and each is hand-painted. Each suit statue will have an interactive component allowing fans to use phone cameras to scan parts of the suit to access videos and additional information about the Apollo 11 mission. Viewers can scan the suit by using their phones and clicking here.

How can you see one of these statues?

Minute Maid Park will be getting its own statue! Along with 14 other participating ballparks listed below. However, officials have not said when the statues at each park will be unveiled.

 

 

Participating Ballparks:

  • 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