HOUSTON—After carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the Moon in 1969, the Apollo 11 command module splashed into the Pacific Ocean. The spacecraft then returned to Houston with the astronauts before embarking on a tour to all 50 states in 1970 and 1971. An estimated three million people visited the spacecraft along the way as it stopped in one city per state, usually the capital.
Following that tour, the historic capsule was installed at Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, and it remained there as one of the institution's most prized artifacts. Now, finally, the 3.9-meter wide spacecraft is going on tour again. It won't be visiting all 50 states but instead a select few cities—Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and, lastly, for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in 2019, Seattle. The latter city gets the honor because Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is among those underwriting the tour.