50th Anniversary of the Apollo Program

  • Apollo 11 Command Module

Beginning in October 2018 and continuing through December 2019, organizations across the country will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program with events, programs, exhibitions and more that celebrate this iconic mission. Smithsonian Affiliates will be hosting events throughout the year. Find a celebration near you!

Calendar of Apollo Anniversary Events

October 2018

Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, Texas)
Celebrate the 1968 Apollo VII launch, the first manned Apollo flight, with the first American three-man crew to go into space. See the Apollo VII command module on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
The Center will be hosting several events in conjunction with the exhibition. Check out the website for details.

USS Hornet- Sea, Air & Space Museum (Alameda, California)
Join the USS Hornet for STEM Night Ops- Crash(less) Landings, a special Apollo themed evening in honor of the anniversary of the Apollo 7 mission. This special overnight program will feature hands-on STEM activities related to the Apollo engineers. October 13, 2018.

November 2018

USS Hornet- Sea, Air & Space Museum (Alameda, California)
In the 1960’s the space program took on a life of its own over the years of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Apollo-Soyuz programs. Join us for PM Theme Tours– The History of Space Aviation and Exploration. Beginning November 2, 2018. See PM Theme Tour full calendar for additional dates.

December 2018

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Dr. Michael Neufeld, curator of space history at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, will talk about the Apollo program and share historical ties to Pennsylvania in a panel with History Center curators. December 8-9, 2018.

May 2019
USS Hornet- Sea, Air & Space Museum (Alameda, California)
In honor of the Apollo 10 mission, whose call signs included the names of Peanuts characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy, which became Apollo 10’s semi-official mascots, the Charles Schulz Museum and Research Center and the Museum will host Apollo 10 and Pop Culture: Space Travel through the Ages a panel and guest speaker discussion. May 4, 2019.

July 2019

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)
Visit Destination Moon on the day the astronauts stepped foot on the moon back in 1969. July 20, 2019.

Moon Landing in Context Project

Over 15 months, the Moon Landing in Context project will engage in panel discussions, lectures, exhibits, and student projects to explore the history and social environment that were inevitably intertwined with the events that led to the Moon Landing or were affected by it.  Learn more here.

The project, is directed by Dr. Irene Porro of the McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning and benefits from the scholarly contribution of Framingham State University, a Smithsonian Affiliate, as well as Smithsonian Institution experts, and scholars from other academic institutions.

Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission exhibition

The traveling exhibition will bring the iconic Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia and one-of-a-kind artifacts from this historic mission to four cities—its first national tour since 1970/71. Developed by the National Air and Space Museum and organized for travel by the  Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition ServiceDestination Moon tour will travel exclusively to Smithsonian Affiliates through 2019. Eyes will be on The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, which will host the exhibition during the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing in 2019.

Tour locations and dates:

Space Center Houston |Oct. 14, 2017–March 18, 2018
Saint Louis Science Center | April 14–Sept. 3, 2018
Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh | Sept. 29, 2018–Feb. 17, 2019
The Museum of Flight, Seattle | March 16–Sept. 2, 2019

Above photo: Courtesy of Saint Louis Science Center

Smithsonian Resources

Go inside the Apollo 11 Command Capsule through a high-resolution 3-D scan. Anyone with an internet connection can explore the entire craft – inside and out – which is not possible when the capsule is at a museum.

Smithsonian Learning Lab puts the treasures of the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex within reach. The Lab is a free, interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources, creating content with online tools, and sharing in the Smithsonian’s expansive community of knowledge and learning. Browse one of the Destination Moon collections below.