WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — On July 20, 1969, history was made during the Apollo 11 spaceflight as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon.
Fifty years later, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will commemorate this historic feat by offering visitors an “out of this world” experience including an opportunity to meet an astronaut; build and launch rockets; interact with Star Wars characters and much more during Family Day on Saturday, July 20 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Designed for children and adults of all ages, Family Day offers several hands-on opportunities for all to enjoy.
Activities beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout the day will include virtual reality experiences; various space-related demonstrations on topics such as rocket guidance, orbits and microgravity; a scale model display; special displays of artifacts and archival materials from the Collections and Research Divisions; a pop culture display; Star Wars costumed characters; and space trivia.
Visitors can build rockets in the second building and launch them on museum grounds from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (or while supplies last – weather permitting).
Astronaut Mark Brown will be available to meet with the public and sign autographs on the Space Shuttle Exhibit in the fourth building from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Brown served as a mission specialist on both Space Shuttle Columbia in 1989, and on Space Shuttle Discovery in 1991.
In addition, there will be five presentations in the Carney Auditorium with the first beginning at 11:30 a.m. and the last beginning 4 p.m. on topics such as spacesuits; little known facts about the Apollo program; the effects of space on the human body and more.
According to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Educator Cindy Henry, it is important to not only remember this great achievement, but to see its potential for encouraging young people to go even farther one day.
“The museum is thrilled to commemorate this momentous event with a day filled with exciting educational activities to remember the achievements of that day and to inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists and explorers,” said Henry.
Visitors can also check out the new space suit exhibit that recently opened at the museum. The exhibit contains a total of seven space suits spanning the earliest to latest in spaceflight including those from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle missions.
All activities are free, and no advanced reservations are necessary. For additional information including the complete schedule of activities, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Education/Family-Day or call the Education Division at (937) 255-4646.
Some materials for the program are being provided through the generosity of the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. (Federal endorsement is not implied).
Finally, the Air Force Museum Foundation will offer several space-related films in the Air Force Museum Theatre including “Apollo 11: First Steps 2D,” which plays daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; “Armstrong” on July 19 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Living History Series; and “First Man” on July 28 at 4 p.m. as part of the Hollywood Film Series. For additional information or to purchase tickets visit www.afmuseum.com/movietimes.