The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, will mark the 50th anniversary of the historic Moon landing with five days of special events starting on July 16.
Fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins left Earth on the Saturn 5 rocket. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon.
For the first time in 13 years, Armstrong’s Appolo 11 spacesuit will be put on display at the museum.
In a 2015 Kickstarter campaign, the museum was able to raise $719,779 to conserve the space suit and other artifacts from the space program. It built a state-of-the-art display case and a mannequin to protect the fragile suit.
On April 19, the visitors had a chance to interact with museum scientists and an opportunity to learn about the Moon and lunar exploration.
Another event will let those attending to “retrace” Armstrong and Aldrin’s footsteps by visiting information stations that approximate the equivalent distance that the astronauts walked. Photos and maps on display will be explained for visitors by the museum scientists and historians.
The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will commemorate the 50th anniversary of @NASA #Apollo11 mission with a week-long "First Moon Landing Celebration" in July 2019 @airandspace @collectSPACE https://t.co/LsJirMsPrI pic.twitter.com/ROjUrz6Mbv
— Astrobotic (@astrobotic) September 13, 2018
On July 20, there will be a special celebration at 10:56 p.m. EDT, which marks the exact time when the first steps were taken on the Moon. In 2022, the museum will also be opening a permanent gallery, “Destination Moon,” which will be dedicated to the Apollo 11 mission.
The Smithsonian Channel will broadcast several programs in the lead up to the 50th Moon landing anniversary.