The Exploration Museum is dedicated to the history of human exploration. The stories displayed here are different in periods and places, but there is one thing that unites all of them: the common need of the human being to go always beyond physical and psychological limits.
This museum focuses then on the feats and accomplishments achieved by explorers of different times, towards different boundaries. What it aims at is to show how the story of exploration is our story, what makes human beings human, because exploration is not just the discovery of new lands, it is mainly the discovery of new things about ourselves, about humankind in general.
The story of this place starts in 2009, when we found out that in 1965 and 1967 the Astronauts of the Apollo Program came near this town, Húsavík, as part of their training. Apparently, Iceland is the place on Earth more similar to the Moon environment, thanks to its volcanic geology and the lack of vegetation. A piece of information like that could not sink into oblivion. Very few people in Iceland were aware of the importance played by their country in this historical landmark of humanity evolution, which is why we thought that this event had to be marked.
First of all, we started to study more about this and to collect documentary materials about the Astronauts’ trainings, mainly pictures of their journey here, but also magazines, tools used by them during that period and so on. The first step was an exhibition in 2011 at the Culture House, with some of the photos possessed. That was just the beginning of a more ambitious project: a museum.
The original plan was to have an area entirely dedicated to the Moon and its exploration. Developing this idea though, it has started to be noticeable an essential concept, how the Moon and the entire Space Race are metaphors of a human attitude: the need to push ourselves always a bit forward, beyond borders, in order to develop, to make progresses for the humankind. Space exploration is just the latest goal in this field. In other times of human history, the boundaries have been other ones – Oceans, deserts, unknown territories, rivers, mountains, Poles, … – but all of them have had one thing in common: the endeavours put by mankind to go beyond them. This is the reason why the museum has taken the shape it has now: it wants to show exploration stories, which we emotionally take part in, because we understand that a particular feat does not belong just to the person who performs it, but thanks to that person, that achievement belongs to all of us.