New LeTourneau exhibit is out of this world

Apollo 11 Exhibit

LONGVIEW, TEXAS (KLTV) - Letourneau University wants to take you to space. Well, sort of.

This month they are featuring an exhibit that’s all about NASA in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing.

We got a preview before it opens to the public next week.

LeTourneau University History Professor Daniel Ostendorf says its about educating his generation and the generation of students attending the university.

“They know nothing about the moon missions. This project that changed a generation is now history so we want them to know about it," he says. "We want them to know not only was it an important story 50 years ago, but it’s changed the way they experience the world today,” Ostendorf says.

He says much of the technology used today has roots in NASA missions.

“I think sometimes we’re guilty of saying, ‘Man, that was a waste of money.’ But we don’t realize every single thing we do every single day is changed by it. Our cell phones are because of NASA’s space mission. My kid’s fire retardant pajamas are because of NASA’s space mission. LED lights, my TV is because of NASA’s technology,” Ostendorf explains.

He says many people don’t realize how much effort was put forth during the 60s.

“Three hundred thousand people came together to put a man on the moon. That’s staggering,” Ostendorf states.

LeTourneau student Abigail Johnson helped to set up the exhibit.

“(I) learned what people thought what people thought and how they viewed this event and what it meant for the people and the country just as a whole,” Johnson says.

The exhibit came from the Johnson Space Center and goes into things like Apollo mission chronology and even what astronauts ate.

“So you’re going to get everything from the history of manned space flight picking up in the 1950s, all the way through the shuttles in the 1980s and 1990s,” Ostendorf relays.

There are videos and interactive exhibits, and even a helmet, but perhaps the most amazing part is that visitors can actually touch something that was in space - a real live space shuttle tire.

Just don’t kick it.

The exhibit runs from Sept. 9 to Oct. 4. On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 19 the exhibit will be moved to the Belcher Performing Arts Center where three East Texans involved in NASA missions will speak about their experiences with the space program. The exhibit is free to attend.

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