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Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary

The Bay Area celebrates NASA landing on the Moon 50 years ago in 1969
By - posted 7/16/2019 No Comment

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission which landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, with Neil Armstrong taking the historic first steps on the moon 6 hours later. The first steps on the moon took place at 7:56pm Pacific Time.

Apollo 11 blasted off on July 16, 1969. Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins were the astronauts on Apollo 11. Four days later, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon.

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong

Fifty years later, the world is remembering the historic mission, and right here in the Bay, our local museums are hosting celebratory anniversary events as well.


Bay Area Celebrations

USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum | Alameda

The aircraft carrier USS Hornet (now a museum, located right here in Alameda) was the recovery ship that picked up the Apollo 11 crew when they landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24th.

The USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum hosts permanent exhibitions exploring the Space Race and Hornet’s role in the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions, plus for the anniversary, they’re hosting a special 8-day Splashdown 50th Anniversary Celebration. Many of these events are included in the Museum’s General Admission unless indicated below.

Exploratorium | San Francisco

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the Exploratorium hosts Moon Month, a full month of programs, activities, and exhibits celebrating Earth’s moon and our exploration of it.

  • Saturday, July 20: Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Come early, stay late, and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. For one day only, the Exploratorium will be open from 10 am to midnight—it’s a soiree for Earth’s own natural satellite. Experience the thrill of NASA’s newly restored footage of the 1969 landing, bask in the glow of a detailed 16-foot spherical sculpture of the moon, and make a place for yourself in the lunar legacy of that giant leap for humankind. – Adults $29.95

Chabot Space & Science Center | Oakland

Chabot Space & Science celebrates celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing with a month of moon-themed events, including a new exhibit, Luminous Moon.

  • Friday, July 5: Lunar First Friday Special First Friday party to kick off the 50th Apollo Anniversary events at Chabot Catch a glimpse of their new moon rock, brought back from the Apollo 16 mission and learn all about the Moon through hands on activities and their new Planetarium show, Lunaverse. Get a sneak peek of the new PBS series Chasing the Moon before it airs, and chat with Astronomer and KQED Science Researcher, Ben Burress after the show. $5
  • Friday, July 12: Evening Under The Moon Join in for an evening under the stars and learn all about the Moon. Walk through the newest exhibit, Luminous Moon. At 8:30 pm, join in for a talk by Astronomer Gerald McKeegan about lunar geography and geology, and the contributions to lunar science that came (and still come) out of the Apollo Missions. And while you are here, be sure to view the Moon through one of their historic telescopes during their free public viewing hours (weather permitting). – FREE
  • Saturday, July 20: Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration Join in for hands on Moon demos, their new planetarium show, Lunaverse, Chasing The Moon documentary viewing, Lunar Landing Countdown, Apollo 11 film screening, Mini Missions: Escape From The Moon immersive mission simulation, a lunar talk and more.  – Included with Museum Admission
  • Saturday, July 20: Apollo Party This event is after hours and for adults only. Grab a moon cocktail, show off your stellar moves on the dance floor, and sing your heart out at space karaoke. Enjoy live performances by Blue Eternity in the Planetarium and experience a simulated mission to the moon in the Challenger Spacecraft. $14

California Academy of Sciences | San Francisco

  • Recurring Dates: Tour of the Moon Planetarium Show Explore the surface of the moon in honor of Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary with a special Planetarium show, Tour of the Moon. Find out where the Apollo astronauts left their footprints, what they found on the lunar surface—and why we may want to go back. This is a recurring event, included with admission. They will have a showing at 4:30 pm on the anniversary, Saturday, July 20. Check the daily schedule for upcoming showings.

Hiller Aviation Museum | San Carlos

  • Saturday, July 20: Saturn-V The First 700 Seconds Faride Khalaf will take you down memory lane and visit the Apollo program in a unique way.  He will focus on some of the details starting from early launch preparation to the last rocket blast that sent the gallant crew and their spacecraft to the moon.  In this presentation, you’ll find answers to questions that Walter Cronkite never thought to ask. To commemorate this historical achievement,  the Museum will launch a Saturn-V Model Rocket at approx 1:17 PM. The exact time the Lunar Module landed on the moon. – Included with Museum Admission

The Tech Interactive | San Jose

  • Saturday, July 20: Apollo 11 First Steps Edition Celebrate the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission by watching a screening of Apollo 11: First Steps Edition, a thrilling cinematic experience that showcases the real-life moments of humankind’s first steps on the moon. – Adults $12

Can’t make it to a local event? Watch online:

NASA Television Special Programming

  • Fri., July 19, 1 p.m.: NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future – Celebrating Apollo 50th as We Go Forward to the Moon. A live celebration of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and a look ahead to NASA”s Artemis program and plans to return humans to the Moon by 2024.
  • Sat., July 20: 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon landing.