Apollo at 50: A Celebration Guide

The 50 best films, events, books, websites, and souvenirs.

Museum of the Moon, October 2017, Leeds, England. (Museum of the Moon / Carl Milner)

On the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at museums and theaters across the country, at most NASA centers, and in cities and towns around the world, people will celebrate that one small step taken 50 years ago when a person from Earth first walked on the moon. We’ve surveyed the plans and selected some of our favorite ways to remember and learn about the Apollo program leading up to the July 20 anniversary.

Above: We begin with a rare opportunity to see the moon’s far side: The Museum of the Moon, an illuminated, 23-foot-diameter balloon, designed by British installation artist Luke Jerram from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images, will be in Providence, Rhode Island this July. Plans are to exhibit it at the Rhode Island State House.

Armstrong’s Spacesuit at the Museum and Ballpark

(Eric Long / NASM 2009-4790)

Apollo celebrations have already begun at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The spacesuit worn by Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong has been undergoing restoration and will be on view beginning July 16, along with dozens of Apollo artifacts. Apollo Lunar Module number 2 (LM-2), an unflown version of the two-stage vehicle that ferried astronauts from lunar orbit to the surface and back, is displayed in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. Originally built without landing gear for a (later canceled) uncrewed test in Earth orbit, LM-2 has been modified for display purposes to look like the Apollo 11 Eagle

In June, Major League Baseball joins the Museum in a salute to moon landings with "Apollo at the Park." At 15 ballparks across the country, replica statues of Armstrong's spacesuit will greet baseball fans.

The Museums Apollo 50 Festival runs from July 18 to July 20, and the Museum will stay open to the public until 2 a.m. on all three days, with special programming and activities. Find out more at airandspace.si.edu/apollo50.


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