National Air and Space Museum to mark 50th anniversary of moon landing

Preparations are underway at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in D.C. to mark this summer’s anniversary of the first moon landing.

apollo11.jpg
The official Apollo 11 logo. (Courtesy of NASA)
AP: 735abd50-637d-4e3e-81b1-7c44d4190125
FILE – In this July 20, 1969 file photo provided by NASA shows Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. \”Buzz\” Aldrin, the first men to land on the moon, plant the U.S. flag on the lunar surface. The family of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, says he has died at age 82. A statement from the family says he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. It doesn’t say where he died. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969. He radioed back to Earth the historic news of \”one giant leap for mankind.\” Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin \”Buzz\” Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs. In all, 12 Americans walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972. (AP Photo/NASA) (AP)
ng18.jpg
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, his visor reflecting Neil Armstrong and the lunar module Eagle. The Apollo 11 astronauts carried the National Geographic Society flag with them on their journey to the Moon. (Photo credit: NASA)
FILE --- This photo provided by the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution shows the spacesuit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969. The National Air and Space Museum is launching a crowdfunding campaign to conserve the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon. The campaign begins Monday, marking 46 years since Armstrong’s moonwalk in 1969. Conservators say spacesuits were built for short-term use with materials that break down over time. The museum aims to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter to conserve the spacesuit, build a climate-controlled display case and digitize the spacesuit with 3D scanning. (Eric Long/National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution via AP)
FILE — This photo provided by the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution shows the spacesuit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969. The National Air and Space Museum is launching a crowdfunding campaign to conserve the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon. The campaign begins Monday, marking 46 years since Armstrong’s moonwalk in 1969. Conservators say spacesuits were built for short-term use with materials that break down over time. The museum aims to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter to conserve the spacesuit, build a climate-controlled display case and digitize the spacesuit with 3D scanning. (Eric Long/National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution via AP) (AP)
In this photo taken Feb. 17, 2017, the Apollo 11 capsule sits in the restoration hanger at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., ahead of a planned four-city tour. The Apollo 11 command module, which travelled more than 950,000 miles to take Americans to the moon and back in 1969, is going on a road trip, leaving the Smithsonian for the first time in more than four decades. The airplane at left is the only aircraft in the Smithsonian’s collection that was stationed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the day the naval base at the harbor was attacked by Japan. (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)
In this photo taken Feb. 17, 2017, the Apollo 11 capsule sits in the restoration hanger at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., ahead of a planned four-city tour. The Apollo 11 command module, which traveled more than 950,000 miles to take Americans to the moon and back in 1969, is going on a road trip, leaving the Smithsonian for the first time in more than four decades. The airplane at left is the only aircraft in the Smithsonian’s collection that was stationed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the day the naval base at the harbor was attacked by Japan. (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)
FILE – In this July 24, 1969 file photo, the Apollo 11 command module lands in the Pacific Ocean and the crew waits to be picked up by U.S. Navy personnel after an eight day mission to the moon. The Apollo 11 command module, which traveled more than 950,000 miles to take Americans to the moon and back in 1969, is going on a road trip, leaving the Smithsonian for the first time in more than four decades. (AP Photo, File)
FILE - In this July 20, 1969 file photo, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, right, trudges across the surface of the moon leaving behind footprints. Moon dust collected by Armstrong during the first lunar landing is being sold at a New York auction.  The lunar dust plus some tiny rocks that Armstrong also collected are zipped up in a small bag and are worth an estimated $2 million to $4 million. They’re just some of the items linked to space travel that Sotheby’s is auctioning off to mark the 48th anniversary of the first lunar landing on July 20. (AP Photo, File)
FILE – In this July 20, 1969 file photo, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, right, trudges across the surface of the moon leaving behind footprints. Moon dust collected by Armstrong during the first lunar landing is being sold at a New York auction. The lunar dust plus some tiny rocks that Armstrong also collected are zipped up in a small bag and are worth an estimated $2 million to $4 million. They’re just some of the items linked to space travel that Sotheby’s is auctioning off to mark the 48th anniversary of the first lunar landing on July 20. (AP Photo, File) (AP)
Astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr.  poses for a photograph beside the U.S. flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.  Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface with temperatures ranging from 243 degrees above to 279 degrees below zero.  Astronaut  Michael Collins flew the command module.  The trio was launched to the moon by a Saturn V launch vehicle at 9:32 a.m. EDT, July 16, 1969. They departed the moon July 21, 1969. (AP Photo/NASA/Neil A. Armstrong)
Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. poses for a photograph beside the U.S. flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface with temperatures ranging from 243 degrees above to 279 degrees below zero. Astronaut Michael Collins flew the command module. The trio was launched to the moon by a Saturn V launch vehicle at 9:32 a.m. EDT, July 16, 1969. They departed the moon July 21, 1969. (AP Photo/NASA/Neil A. Armstrong) (AP/NEIL A. ARMSTRONG)
(1/8)
apollo11.jpg
AP: 735abd50-637d-4e3e-81b1-7c44d4190125
ng18.jpg
FILE --- This photo provided by the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution shows the spacesuit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969. The National Air and Space Museum is launching a crowdfunding campaign to conserve the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon. The campaign begins Monday, marking 46 years since Armstrong’s moonwalk in 1969. Conservators say spacesuits were built for short-term use with materials that break down over time. The museum aims to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter to conserve the spacesuit, build a climate-controlled display case and digitize the spacesuit with 3D scanning. (Eric Long/National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution via AP)
In this photo taken Feb. 17, 2017, the Apollo 11 capsule sits in the restoration hanger at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., ahead of a planned four-city tour. The Apollo 11 command module, which travelled more than 950,000 miles to take Americans to the moon and back in 1969, is going on a road trip, leaving the Smithsonian for the first time in more than four decades. The airplane at left is the only aircraft in the Smithsonian’s collection that was stationed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the day the naval base at the harbor was attacked by Japan. (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)
FILE - In this July 20, 1969 file photo, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, right, trudges across the surface of the moon leaving behind footprints. Moon dust collected by Armstrong during the first lunar landing is being sold at a New York auction.  The lunar dust plus some tiny rocks that Armstrong also collected are zipped up in a small bag and are worth an estimated $2 million to $4 million. They’re just some of the items linked to space travel that Sotheby’s is auctioning off to mark the 48th anniversary of the first lunar landing on July 20. (AP Photo, File)
Astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr.  poses for a photograph beside the U.S. flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.  Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface with temperatures ranging from 243 degrees above to 279 degrees below zero.  Astronaut  Michael Collins flew the command module.  The trio was launched to the moon by a Saturn V launch vehicle at 9:32 a.m. EDT, July 16, 1969. They departed the moon July 21, 1969. (AP Photo/NASA/Neil A. Armstrong)

The museum will have five days of special events beginning on July 16, exactly 50 years to the day that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins were propelled by a Saturn 5 rocket on a path to the moon.

The festivities will run through July 20 — the date that Armstrong and Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.

Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit will be put on display July 16 for the first time in 13 years.

On July 19, visitors to the museum will be able to interact with museum scientists to learn about the moon and lunar exploration. In one of the events, people will be able to “retrace” Armstrong’s and Aldrin’s footsteps by visiting information stations that approximate the equivalent distance that the astronauts walked.

Scientists and historians will help explain photos and maps.

On Saturday, July 20 the museum will host a special celebration at 10:56 p.m., the exact time 50 years ago, when the first steps were taken on the moon. The museum will remain open until 2 a.m.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up