Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell performs an active seismic experiment by detonating charges with a thumper while walking along a geophone line. NASA photograph AS14-67-9374. 


To the Moon: The Science of Apollo

March 28 – August 30, 2019

The exhibition and this program are presented by the Linda Hall Library Foundation and made possible through a generous gift from Mike and Millie Brown and the Burns & McDonnell Foundation.


July 20, 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s first steps on the moon. Five additional Apollo missions sent 10 more astronauts to the lunar surface where they gathered rock samples and conducted scientific experiments. The exhibition, To the Moon, will relive Project Apollo and the behind-the-scenes story of how science got to and from the moon.

West Gallery – “The Science of Apollo”

Visitors to the west gallery will explore each of the six Apollo missions that successfully landed on the lunar surface. Using NASA images, mission reports, technical reports, and other material from the Library’s collection, topics will include: geological features of the landing sites, the science experiments deployed by the astronauts, and Apollo’s scientific legacy.

Alcove – “Go for TLI”

At 8:30 p.m. on December 21, 1968, Mission Control in Houston informed the Apollo 8 crew that they were “go for TLI,” trans-lunar injection, the engine burn that would take the spacecraft on a trajectory to the moon. For the first time in history, humans left earth orbit. Visitors to the alcove will learn how NASA engineers accomplished the feat of getting spacecraft and astronauts to and from the lunar surface, beginning with the lunar-orbit rendezvous decision made in 1962 to the “all up” testing of the Saturn V rocket, and the ultimate triumph of Project Apollo with the safe return of every astronaut.

East Gallery: “Mapping the Moon: A History of Lunar Cartography”

Visitors to the east gallery will view rare books from the Library’s History of Science collection that range from the 17th century to the 1960s. Books on display will include Galileo’s 1610 Sidereus Nuncius to works by Johannes Hevelius, Robert Hooke, Tobias Mayer, William Pickering, Gerard Kuiper, among many others. The gallery will conclude with images and maps from NASA’s and the Soviet Union’s unmanned lunar probes of the 1960s.




Exhibition galleries and the William N. Deramus III Cosmology Theater are open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the Second Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to  2:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free for Library visitors. Advance registration is not required.

Saturday openings for 2019:

  April 13 July 13  October 12
February 9 May 11 August 10 November 9
March 9 June 8 September 14 December 14

Reference, research, and circulation services are not available on Second Saturdays.


  • The Library will be closed on Thursday, July 4th and Friday, July 5th in observance of Independence Day.