(CNN) — Americans across the country spent the month of July commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — which took place on July 20, 1969 — in creative ways.
From a butter sculpture in Ohio to a mylar art installation in Houston, celebrations took all shapes and sizes. Now, the astronauts involved in the mission are getting a permanent photo-op thanks to Madame Tussauds newest additions to its attraction in the US capital.
The “Meet the Legends” exhibit opened last Wednesday in Washington and features relaunched sculptures of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong as well as a lunar module where guests can pose to take photos with the astronauts. Additionally, visitors will be able to follow the footsteps left on the surface of the moon in their very own spacesuit for a truly immersive experience.
Though the exhibit celebrates America’s past, the attraction also looked to the future of space travel by inviting Dr. Jennifer Stern, a space scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, to a Q&A discussion on opening day about returning to the moon and going beyond it.
In conversation with Madame Tussauds’ General Manager Therese Alvich, Stern explained just how significant the moon landing was for science and technology.
“They started in the beginning of the ’60s with nothing. No lunar command module, no space suits. And they really had to build from the ground up all the infrastructure to do this over such a short time,” Stern said. “It’s amazing that they were able to do so and meet that goal of landing in 1969.”
When it comes to the goals of organizations such as NASA in the future, Stern explained that returning to the moon will be an important step.
“We are about to enter a new age of exploration with the Artemis Project, which will send astronauts to the moon in the 2020s. That will be in preparation for sending astronauts to the surface of Mars in the 2030s and beyond. We also hope to learn what it’s like to live on the surface of the moon, live and work.”