Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
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Richard Nixon Centennial

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Nixon and the U.S. Space Program

“Nixon and the U.S. Space Program” features rarely seen documents, photographs, and objects that represent milestones in manned spaceflight during President Nixon’s administration. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully put men on the moon with the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969 and followed with five more Apollo missions over the next three years. Visitors will learn about Nixon’s support for the lunar program and his efforts to improve adversarial Cold War relations through a cooperative space exploration program.
Highlights of the Nixon display include:

  • the telephone used by President Nixon to talk to the Apollo 11 astronauts after the moon landing (1969);
  • tongs used by Apollo 12 astronauts to collect moon rock samples (1969); and
  • a contingency statement drafted by speechwriter William Safire in case of disaster during the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission (1969) [Safire would later earn a Pulitzer Prize as a columnist with the New York Times.];

The materials on exhibit are courtesy of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, CA, one of 13 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives.
Nixon and the U.S. Space Program” will be on exhibit through June 2013, when the display will feature items from the administration of President Ford.
The case display is located within the Public Vaults exhibit in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, located on Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Admission to the museum is free. Winter hours (though March 14) are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Summer hours (March 15 through Labor Day) are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For information on National Archives public programs, call 202-357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online at For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


For more information, contact us at 714-983-9120 or

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