"The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will commemorate the 50th anniversary of NASA's Apollo 11 mission with a week-long "First Moon Landing Celebration" in July 2019.
Museum officials on Wednesday (Sept. 12) announced the celebration and plans for a series of events and exhibits to lead up to the anniversary beginning in October. The Smithsonian includes in its collection the spacecraft, spacesuits and much of the equipment that astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins used to achieve the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969.
"We see the Apollo 50th anniversary as an opportunity to introduce a whole new generation to what happened during our lifetimes," said Valerie Neal, space history department chair at the National Air and Space Museum. "The majority of our visitors now were born after 1969. They know the story secondhand, but they don't have that visceral experience of it."
"We're hoping to use this occasion to spark that kind of excitement and start thinking about what can we do in the 21st century that is comparable, whether we do it in space or we do it here on Earth," Neal told collectSPACE.
The Smithsonian's five-day First Moon Landing Celebration is scheduled for July 16 through 20, 2019, such that it coincides with the 50th anniversaries of the Apollo 11 launch, lunar landing and moonwalk. Details will be announced at a later date, but activities are planned for inside the museum and on the National Mall in Washington, DC."