Moon landings: celebrating the Apollo II anniversary in 2019

20 July marks 50 years since the first Moon landing, and celebrations are underway on both sides of the Atlantic.

Published 15 Jun 2019, 08:00 BST, Updated 5 Nov 2020, 05:27 GMT
Moon landing
Photograph by Getty

Space Center Houston is aiming for the stars with nine days of celebratory events, including pop-up Apollo 11-themed science labs, screenings, expert talks, mission briefings for the Moon shot, an evening with an Apollo flight director and behind-the-scenes tours of the Apollo Mission Control Center. 16-24 July.

The home of British astronomy, Jodrell Bank, is reliving the Apollo 11 mission in real time as part of the Bluedot Festival, using video and audio captured by its telescope. Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, will also be giving a talk on her eight days aboard Mir space station in 1991. 18-21 July.

Celebrate the Apollo programme where it — literally — took off. The Kennedy Space Center’s full summer of events include a recreation of the launch and a reopening of the Apollo/Saturn V Center (a museum whose centrepiece is a restored Saturn V launch vehicle).

The after-dark Moon Festival (19-26 July) is marking the occasion with Moon-themed art exhibitions, lectures and screenings and even a club night beneath the Cutty Sark. At the Barbican Centre, meanwhile, the London Contemporary Orchestra will be performing Clint Mansell’s score from 2009 sci-fi flick Moon side by side with a screening. 19 July.  

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To celebrate, National Geographic is republishing the original coverage from December 1969 as part of a supplement with the Moon-themed July issue (available 4 July).

Published in the Jul/Aug 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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