Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum

500 Apollo Drive
Wapakoneta , OH 45895-9780

419-738-8811   |
Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. See website for seasonal hours.
Adult General Admission: $8, see website for discounts

Neil Armstrong and the History of Space Flight

The Armstrong Air and Space Museum honors Neil Armstrong’s significant achievements, which include flying over 200 different aircraft, becoming a professor of aerospace engineering at NASA, and as the first person to step foot on the moon. In addition to remembering Armstrong’s career as pilot, engineer, astronaut, and educator, the AASM showcases Ohio’s role in the history of aviation and space flight.

The Armstrong Air and Space Museum is dedicated to interpreting and showcasing Ohio’s contributions to the history of flight. It was named after Wapakoneta native, Neil Armstrong, in honor of his contributions to aeronautical engineering and space exploration. Armstrong received a pilot’s license at the age of 15, before he could legally drive a car. He went on to join the Air Force, serving as a Naval Aviator and piloting combat missions over North Korea from 1949 to 1952.In 1955, Armstrong joined the National Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which was created by Congress during World War I as a means of catching up to advances in aviation made in Europe – and his first assignment was with the NACA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland. NACA was instrumental in developing early airplanes into modern machines. Following the launch of Sputnik, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, forming NASA, an agency responsible for space programs and aeronautical research. That same year NACA’s operations were incorporated under NASA, and Armstrong continued his work at the new agency. In 1962, he officially transferred to astronaut status, and worked on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, famously piloting the Gemini VIII and Apollo 11. On July 20, 1969, as the commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. That same day, Ohio Governor, James Rhodes proposed that there be a museum dedicated as a monument to Armstrong’s achievement and Ohio’s contributions to aviation. The Armstrong Air and Space Museum opened in Wapakoneta on July 20, 1972, exactly three years after the first moon landing.

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Notes for Travelers

Upon arrival at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum, visitors will first encounter the building’s futuristic design, constructed to resemble a landing and control base on the moon. The museum offers interactive exhibits and simulated experiences that engage people of all ages in the history of aerospace science and engineering. Among the interpreted artifacts on display is a piece moon rock from the Sea of Tranquility collected during the Apollo 11 mission. One of the most memorable stops for AASM visitors is the Infinity Room, designed to create the experience of walking in space, surrounded by what appears to be infinite darkness sprinkled with stars.

Additional Resources

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, James R. Hansen.

The History of Human Space Flight, Ted Spitzmiller.

The Soviet Space Race with Apollo, Asif A. Siddiqi.