Heat shield

Apollo 11 command module “Columbia.”

Heat shield of Apollo 11 command module

When I was in DC I spent nearly six hours at the Air and Space Museum. I’ve been there several times before, and it remains my favorite of all the Smithsonian museums.

Closeup of Apollo 11 command module heat shield

On my first visit (I was in high school at the time), Columbia was not completely encased in plastic. I vividly remember being able to touch the rough surface of the heat shield back then.

Apollo 11 command module in display at the Smithsonian