As it marks the 50th anniversary of its first manned Moon landing, NASA has several opportunities on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20, for us to celebrate the historic Apollo 11 Moon mission and look to the future of exploration on the Moon and Mars.
Throughout the summer, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is presenting an Apollo-themed corn maze for tourists. On Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20, NASA and local and agriculture industry representatives will participate in stage talks 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 David Steitz, astronaut Alvin Drew, and Technology Transfer Program Executive Dan Lockney.
For those looking for a road trip, you can head to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the Apollo 50 Festival, a free festival hosted by NASA and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. 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. on July 19, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 20.
On Friday, July 19, NASA will air “NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future” on NASA TV and the agency’s website, and will be 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, D.C.; NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, including the newly restored Apollo Mission Control Operations Room and Space Center Houston; U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama; Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio; and the Apollo 11 command module on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
At 3 p.m. on July 19, NASA TV will air a special program, STEM Forward to the Moon, which will feature kids participating in Moon landing simulations at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas, Saint Louis Science Center in St. Louis, Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, California, and Arizona Science Center in Phoenix.
On Saturday, July 20, NASA TV will air original video of the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking humanity’s first steps on the Moon at the actual times these two events took place 50 years ago – 4:02 and 10:38 p.m. respectively. The video also will stream live on Twitter, Periscope, YouTube, Facebook Live and UStream.
Finally, the U.S. Postal Service is joining in the celebration by introducing two new, Apollo 11-themed Forever stamps.