On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to step foot on the Moon. Michael Collins stayed in the Command Module, circling the Moon and keeping the only-way-home ship ready. Just over a decade in the making, that unparalleled feat took a vast team of dedicated people and the will of a nation. President Kennedy challenged the United States to reach beyond Earth and physically touch the Moon. At the time it seemed a fantasy to many, an unlikely goal that would, if nothing else, help America compete with Russia in the space race.
Now it's time to celebrate the accomplishments of the Apollo missions of a half century ago. A series of community and on-site events at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex℠ honor the brains, brawn, and derring-do of the men and women of the U.S. space program.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 flight, what better place on Earth to celebrate the achievements of Apollo 11 than at the heart of NASA, the Kennedy Space Center? Starting on July 16, 2019, 50 years after the launch of Apollo 11, special events and enhancements will mark this momentous milestone of human ingenuity.
Topping the list of commemorations, the Apollo/Saturn V Center has been transformed with interactive exhibits and attractions exploring the wonders of the Apollo program from the first launch to the lunar landings. Renovations include a revamped arrival experience, a new narrative projection mapped on a real Saturn V rocket and new interactive exhibits.
The focal point of the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the majestic Saturn V rocket is a dramatic reminder of those days when the world was enthralled with each new leap toward the Moon.
At the entrance to the Lunar Theater, guests will be transported back to 1969 as they step into a period living room to relive what it was like to watch the Moon landing. Then, guests take in a show that blends real NASA footage, mission control recordings, and 3D elements to recreate events from July 1969, when the world listened to the first words from the lunar surface: “Houston, Tranquility Base here…the Eagle has landed.” The show delivers the astronauts’ impressions of that rare human experience, walking on the Moon.
Other enhancements at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center include: a revamped Touch the Moon exhibit, a Moon Tree garden, a Fisher Space Pen Legacy display, a closer look at the CSM-119 (the Command Module), a photomosaic display with interactive elements, more artifacts, and a renovation of existing exhibits.
The celebration culminates on July 24, marking the anniversary of the day the astronauts reentered Earth’s atmosphere and splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean. On that day in 1969 the world breathed a sigh of relief and then celebrated. Visitors will also have the opportunity to relive the historic launch of Apollo 11 at the Historic Launch Flashback event, which will take spectators through the launch sequence in real time.
Kennedy Space Center and NASA celebrates this momentous occasion again and invites you to join in.