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Over the moon: Massive exhibit at NYC’s Intrepid showcases cool NASA Apollo artifacts

Prepare for liftoff!

A massive new exhibit at Manhattan’s Intrepid Museum, “Apollo: When We Went to the Moon,” takes visitors into space like never before.

On display are more than 100 rare relics linked to the historic 1969 journey and subsequent missions, including a Saturn V rocket engine fragment from ‘the ’70’s aborted Apollo 13 lunar landing.

The 9,000-square-foot spectacle — the museum’s largest-ever temporary exhibit — also boasts a moon rock, a replica lunar rover from Apollo 15 and revealing items from Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

Here’s a closer look at other highlights of the exhibit, which opened Tuesday and runs through Sept. 2:

The new Apollo spaceflight program exhibit at the Intrepid Museum, which opened Tuesday, lets visitors touch a lunar meteorite. Intrepid Museum
The new Apollo spaceflight program exhibit at the Intrepid Museum, which opened Tuesday, lets visitors touch a lunar meteorite. Intrepid Museum

Lunar Meteorite

Roughly 50 pounds of moon rocks and soil were retrieved during Apollo 11, and they’re still helping researchers make important discoveries.

When a suspectedlunar meteorite lands on Earth, researchers identify it by comparing minerals, chemicals and isotopes to samples of moon rocks collected during the Apollo missions.

The show offers a rare opportunity to “touch the moon,” via a slice of lunar meteorite recovered from northwest Africa in 2014.

“It’s very cool that you just have the ability to have that tactile moment,” Intrepid Museum space curator Kate Good said of touching the space rock. “There’s not a whole lot of it.”

A new Intrepid Museum exhibit, “Apollo: When We Went to the Moon,” lets visitors hop onto a lunar rover replica and take a virtual walk on the moon. Intrepid Museum
A new Intrepid Museum exhibit, “Apollo: When We Went to the Moon,” lets visitors hop onto a lunar rover replica and take a virtual walk on the moon. Intrepid Museum

Apollo 15 lunar rover

Guests can also hop on a model of a lunar rover used by astronauts David Scott, James Irwin and Alfred Worden during 1971’s Apollo 15 mission.

“It’s an excellent photo opportunity,” Good said. “It’s a two-seater, so you can have your friend or your family along with you. And it’s just a really neat thing to be … sitting in the seat, seeing the controls, the cameras and everything else.”

“Apollo: When We Went to the Moon” also delves deep into the historic 1969 lunar mission, complete with space suits, moon boots and more. Intrepid Museum
“Apollo: When We Went to the Moon” also delves deep into the historic 1969 lunar mission, complete with space suits, moon boots and more. Intrepid Museum

Apollo gear

The astronauts who took part in the Apollo program’s 11 crewed missions, including six lunar landings, enjoyed star status back on Earth — making glimpses of their space suits, gloves and helmets like seeing superhero gear.

“My absolute favorite thing is the authentic casts of the hands of Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins,” Good told The Post. “When their gloves were being developed for their space suits, instead of having to measure their hands constantly, they were able to just use those models.

The exhibit, which features gear worn by Apollo crew, includes hand casts used to ensure custom fits for astronauts Michael Collins, left, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. Intrepid Museum
The exhibit, which features gear worn by Apollo crew, includes hand casts used to ensure custom fits for astronauts Michael Collins, left, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. Intrepid Museum

“And one of the cool details is that Michael Collins left on his wedding band, and you can see it on the hand.”

Cultural impact

The vast trove of Apollo artifacts includes examples of how news organizations covered the monumental landing on July 20, 1969, sending shockwaves around the world. Intrepid Museum
The vast trove of Apollo artifacts includes examples of how news organizations covered the monumental landing on July 20, 1969, sending shockwaves around the world. Intrepid Museum

The exhibit also highlights how the lunar landing resonated around the globe on July 20, 1969, some eight years after President John F. Kennedy set it as a goal amid the intense space race with the Soviet Union.

“The televisions [at the Intrepid] have, in multiple languages, the broadcasts that were going on [around the world] as they landed on the moon,” Good said.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who served as the lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, became the second human to walk on July 20, 1969, following mission commander Neil Armstrong. REUTERS
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who served as the lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, became the second human to walk on July 20, 1969, following mission commander Neil Armstrong. REUTERS

Amateur astronomers can also go back in time with the show’s “launch experience,” featuring authentic audio and video from the momentous Apollo 11 blastoff from Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969.

“It’s as though you’re on the launch platform,” Good explained. “The rumbling of the engines, it’s a very low sound. There’s no high pitch — which is surprising to some people, that it is as low as it is. And you just feel that reverberation from the sound.”

The new Intrepid Museum space exhibit also features an Apollo 11 launch experience, a three-walled theater with audio and video from July 16, 1969. Intrepid Museum
The new Intrepid Museum space exhibit also features an Apollo 11 launch experience, a three-walled theater with audio and video from July 16, 1969. Intrepid Museum

The experience is housed in the museum’s space shuttle pavilion, alongside Enterprise, which has been on display at the Hell’s Kitchen landmark since 2012.

“A lot of people know about the moon landing, but they don’t necessarily know the details of the moon landing and the people involved,” Good said. “And this really goes beyond just the three astronauts and the actual lunar module.”