50th Anniversary of the Apollo Program

  • Apollo 11 Command Module

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 in Affiliateland

Ongoing in Affiliateland

Columbia Memorial Space Center (Downey, California) opens Achieving the Impossible: The Life and Dreams of Shelby Jacobs, a new exhibition showcasing the achievements of Shelby Jacobs, the engineer who developed the camera systems that captured amazing images during the Apollo missions, like the famous “Blue Marble” image. The exhibit runs through the Spring 2019.

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington) invites you to “party like it’s 1969” during Seattle’s Summer of Space, featuring special events all summer long as we all celebrate the 50th anniversary of the very first manned mission to land on the moon.

August 2019

The Mercer Museum will host Dr. Gloria Chisum on August 6, who conducted psychological research at the Naval Air Development Center in the early 1960s. Dr. Chisum will discuss her work there, including the development of protective eyewear for pilots operating in extreme conditions. On August 21, the Museum will show rarely-seen archival footage from the Mercury and Gemini astronaut training at the Naval Air Development Center, narrated by Johnsville Centrifuge and Science Museum Vice President Mark Calhoun. On August 29, the Mercer Museum welcomes NASA Solar System Ambassador Ann Schmiedekamp on the New Horizon mission and what it has revealed about Pluto and its faraway neighbors.

September 2019

Join a panel of former aerospace professionals from the Apollo Era who designed/built the spacecraft that took us to the Moon! The conversation, From L.A. to the Moon: 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Landing tells the story of humanity’s greatest technical achievement from those who made it happen. At the Columbia Memorial Space Center on September 22, 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

Featuring the Apollo command module Columbia, and over 20 related objects, the exhibition explores the birth of the American space program and the space race. Developed by the National Air and Space Museum and organized for travel by the  Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition ServiceDestination Moon tour travels exclusively to Smithsonian Affiliates through February 2020.

Currently on view:
The Museum of Flight, Seattle | March 16–Sept. 2, 2019

Coming soon:
Cincinnati Museum Center | September 29, 2019–February 17, 2020

Previous destinations:
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

Above photo: Courtesy of Saint Louis Science Center

Smithsonian Resources

Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel logoOn July 20, 68 Affiliates across the nation will be screening The Day We Walked On The Moon, a Smithsonian Channel documentary marking the 50th anniversary of man’s first steps on the lunar surface. The program features interviews from key figures in Mission Control, Contemporary astronauts, and the families of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. Click here for a list of participating Affiliates and to find a showing near you!

Smithsonian 3D

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

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 here.