Through Governor Rhodes, the State of Ohio pledged $500,000 dependent on local matching funds. A total of $528,313. 55 was raised by Wapakoneta residents and other interested parties, including school children who held fund-raising drives. " Groundbreaking took place in 1970. The design was unique with earth mounded around the steel-reinforced concrete building, giving the building the semblance of being underground. " Its distinguishing feature is a large globe dome that houses the Astro Theater. On July 20, 1972, three years after the historic Moon landing, the museum held its grand opening, honored by the attendance of Armstrong and of Tricia Nixon Cox, standing in for her father, Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States. "