50 years ago this month, Apollo 11 astronauts blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a 240,000 mile journey to the moon. Once there, Neil Armstrong opened the hatch and made history by being the first man on the moon. Upon his exit, he famously declared, “That’s one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind”.
To celebrate this anniversary, museums around the US have been putting on events and unveiling new exhibits. Today, we’ll take you to two different celebrations!
1. Washington DC
First, we take you to the heart of Washington DC, where a beautiful montage of images was projected onto the side of the Washington Monument. This made for a wonderful attraction for locals and visitors alike, turning this 560 foot structure into a giant celebratory canvas.
Museums in and around DC marked the occasion with an increased number of educational talks and demonstrations, and also unveiled new exhibits including Neil Armstrong’s original spacesuit from the Apollo 11 mission.
Kennedy Space Center in Florida is also marking the occasion with enhanced exhibits, new films, and special events including talks from Apollo astronauts and the opportunity to see where the Apollo missions left earth.
If you won’t be in either place any time soon, don’t worry! There are great tours and permanent exhibits for the opportunity to celebrate on your own timeline — our personal favorites are the Saturn V center at Kennedy Space Center and the two locations of the National Air and Space Museum in and around DC – the flagship location on the National Mall as well as the Udvar-Hazy Center, which is near Dulles Airport just outside the city.
The Saturn V Center in Florida has a wealth of treasures, including an original Saturn V rocket laid on its side, which is truly awe-inspiring. The National Air and Space Museum has moon rocks, an Apollo 11 command module, space suits, and much more. Both locations also feature an original Space Shuttle on display for those who want to learn about what came after the Apollo program.
If you don’t find yourself on the East Coast, check out the LA Science Center, home to the third and final original space shuttle as well as other educational exhibits about America’s space program.