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armstrong air and space museum

Airstream trip to Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum, Ohio


If your coach is in hock at the Airstream factory for repair (as described in this post), you’re aware that there’s nothing—I mean, nothing—to do in the village of Jackson Center, population 1450 (unless you’re in town for Alumapalooza). After the factory tour, WBCCI members can drop in and eyeball the international headquarters at the other end of “town”, but there’s less to take in there than you’d think. And that’s it.


Panic not. You’re near an area known as—<deep breath>—“The Greater Grand Lake St. Marys Region of Auglaize and Mercer Counties”. And a pretty neat space museum, only twenty miles from Airstream, Inc.


The Armstrong Air & Space Museum is named for native Wapakonite (Wapakonician?) Neil Armstrong, the man who uttered the most famous phrase of 1969.


Exhibits include two of Neil’s spacesuits, a cramped-looking Gemini capsule, a moon rock (and the equipment used to collect it during the first human moon landing mission, Apollo 11), a very detailed display that answers the question posed to each and every astronaut (how does one “go” in zero gravity), and other spoils from NASA programs.


Ample display space is also dedicated to Yuri Gagarin and his fellow cosmonauts, chosen from the Red Air Force—which is unexpectedly inclusive and really helps to wrap your head around the full and exciting story of the space race. 


The Astro Theater screens films on the half hour. I’m not very patriotic—I lost my faith years ago—but I still get choked up when I watch footage of the moon landing or the launch. Every single time.


Be sure to experience the spacecraft flight simulator, and try not to crash the lunar lander—it’s harder than it looks.


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