The space capsule that took the first moonwalkers on their historic adventure is getting ready to take off on another trip — its first tour of the United States in more than 40 years. The Apollo 11 command module is the spacecraft that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins rode in to the moon and back in 1969. To celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of that achievement, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is sending the space capsule to four different museums around the country. It's the first time the space capsule, called Columbia, will have left the museum since it opened to the public in 1976. The traveling exhibit also will include objects such as the helmet and gloves that Aldrin wore during his moonwalk, a "rock box" that the astronauts used to bring back some of the first samples ever from a heavenly body and the watch that Collins wore during his lonely time orbiting the moon while Aldrin and Armstrong explored the lunar surface. "This is the spacecraft that brought the three astronauts home from the first landing on the moon, so it's one of the Smithsonian's most important artifacts," says Michael Neufeld, a senior curator at the museum. The Apollo 11 Command Module, "Columbia," was the living quarters for the three-person crew during most of the first manned lunar landing mission in July 1969. On July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins were launched from Cape Kennedy atop a Saturn V rocket. This Command Module, no. 107, manufactured by North American Rockwell, was one of three parts of the complete Apollo spacecraft. The other two parts were the Service Module and the Lunar Module, nicknamed "Eagle." The Service Module contained the main spacecraft propulsion system and consumables while the Lunar Module was the two-person craft used by Armstrong and Aldrin to descend to the Moon's surface on July 20. The Command Module is the only portion of the spacecraft to return to Earth.