The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United States Apollo ll mission to the moon with events scheduled throughout the week in Washington, DC, and across the nation.
“On July 16, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a journey to the Moon and into history,” the NASA press release about the anniversary states. “Four days later, while Collins orbited the Moon in the command module, Armstrong and Aldrin landed Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle, on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, becoming the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface.”
Aldrin and Collins reunited at the historic launch pad on Tuesday for an event that was broadcast on NASA’s website and this and other special broadcasts can be viewed on NASA TV.
There are also events taking place on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and elsewhere around the country:
• July 18 to 20 – NASA and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum are hosting the Apollo 50 Festival, a free three-day event on the National Mall in Washington. The event will include exhibits, speakers, demonstrations and a host of fun activities for the entire family. NASA researchers, scientists, and engineers will showcase NASA’s newest technologies and innovations that will take us forward to the Moon and on to Mars. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT July 18 and 19, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 20. For more information, click here.
• July 18 to 20 – Apollo A-Maze-Ment at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Throughout the summer, Cherry Crest is presenting an Apollo-themed corn maze for tourists. NASA and local and agriculture industry representatives will participate in stage talks and media interviews about the intersection of NASA technology, farming in America, and our everyday lives on Earth – demonstrating the return on investment of tax dollars. There will be talks by NASA’s Chief Technologist Douglas Terrier, astronaut Alvin Drew, and Technology Transfer Program Executive Dan Lockney. For more information, click here.
On Friday the U.S. Postal Service will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and humanity’s first steps on the Moon with two Forever stamps. It will dedicate the stamps in a ceremony at 11 a.m. EDT at the Apollo/Saturn V Center of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. The ceremony is open to the public with paid admission.” For more information, click here.
Also on Friday, NASA will host its “Giant Leaps: Past and Future” event on air from 1 to 3 p.m. EDT on NASA TV and the agency’s website and will be a simulcast on the Discovery Science Channel. Hosted from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center, the show “will salute the heroes of Apollo and discuss the agency’s future plans,” with segments at:
- The National Mall in Washington, DC.
- NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, including the newly restored Apollo Mission Control Operations Room and Space Center Houston, Johnson’s official visitors center
- The U.S. Space & Rocket Center near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama
- Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio
- The Apollo 11 command module on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle
“The show also will feature slices of Americana at other anniversary celebrations around the country,” the press release about the anniversary states.
At 3 p.m. on Friday NASA TV will air “STEM Forward to the Moon,” featuring children taking part in Moon landing simulations at four museums across the nation:
- Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas
- Saint Louis Science Center in St. Louis
- Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, California
- Arizona Science Center in Phoenix
“NASA also will bring Apollo 50th anniversary participants together to take part in a virtual engineering design challenge on social media,” the press release states. “Along with each of its museum partners, NASA invites the public to help build a component of NASA’s return to the Moon using simple household materials.” For more information click here.
In Wapakoneta, Ohio — the birthplace of Neil Armstrong — NASA and the Armstrong Air and Space Museum is hosting the three-day “Summer Moon Festival” starting on Friday. The event includes a 5k and 10k “Run to the Moon” with NASA astronauts, space inflatables, interactive STEM activities, and rocket launches. For more information, click here.
On Saturday, NASA, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and the National Symphony will put on a musical and visual tribute to the 1969 Moon landing. The concert, which starts at 9 p.m. EDT, “will be hosted by Meredith Vieira and Adam Savage and feature appearances by singer-songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams, singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield, composer Michael Giacchino, actor LeVar Burton, and more.” For more information, click here.
People in Houston on Saturday can see a free screening of the movie Apollo 11 at “NASA Night at Discovery Green” from 6 to 10 p.m. CDT.
“The U.S. Army Golden Knights jumpers will land before the screening, in addition to a special appearance from Spacey Casey,” the press release said. “The event will feature an appearance by NASA astronaut Steve Bowen. Find more information click here.
To find out about all the anniversary events click here.