Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, an epic traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian, launches at the Heinz History Center on Sept. 29, 2018 for a limited engagement.

Featuring the awe-inspiring Command Module Columbia and dozens of mission-flown artifacts, the exhibit will explore NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, the birth of the American space program, the space race, and the Western Pennsylvanians who helped put a man on the Moon.

The countdown for Destination Moon is officially on, and you can prepare yourself for liftoff with this great selection of books, films, and television shows recommended by the History Center curatorial staff.

Pick a few or enjoy them all to get ready for a museum experience of lunar proportions this fall.


  • “Magnificent Desolation” by Buzz Aldrin
  • “A Man on the Moon” by Andrew Chaikin
  • “Carrying the Fire” by Michael Collins
  • “Apollo: Expeditions to the Moon” edited by Edgar M. Cortright
  • “First Man” by James R. Hansen – Meet James Hansen at the History Center on Nov. 1 during First Man: An Evening with James R. Hansen – get your tickets here!
  • “Inventing the American Astronaut” by Matthew Hersch
  • “Destination Moon” by James Irwin (for children)
  • “To Rule the Night: The Discovery Voyage of Astronaut James Irwin,” by James Irwin, Pittsburgher and Apollo 15 pilot
  • “Failure is Not an Option” by Gene Kranz
  • “Apollo in the Age of Aquarius” by Neil Maher
  • “Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances” by Leland Melvin
  • “Apollo: The Race to the Moon” by Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox
  • “’In This Decade…’ Mission to the Moon” (NASA)
  • “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • “Destination Moon” (Smithsonian)
  • “From the Earth to the Moon” (1865) and “Around the Moon” (1870) by Jules Verne
  • “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe

TV & Film

What would you add to the list? Let us know on social media or in the comments below!

Kim Roberts is the communications coordinator at the History Center.

Date August 21, 2018
  • Kim Roberts