Society members will be aware that numerous events around the world are being organised to celebrate the FIFTIETH anniversary of the first landing on the Moon - Apollo 11's lunar module Eagle landed on the Moon on 20th July 1969 and on the next day US astronaut Neil Armstrong made his "big step" to become the first human being to set foot on the Moon's surface, with his colleague Buzz Aldrin joining him only 19 minutes later.
We thought it would be helpful to list, for your convenience and in chronological order, some of these events and also relevant sources of information -
- Already started until Sunday, 8th September - Events Under the Moon at the Natural History Museum, London, which is hosting a series of under-the-moon events including yoga, interactive theatre, cheese and wine nights, and a performance by award-winning hip-hop producer DJ Yoda (Friday, 2nd August). Luke Jerram's seven-metre-wide lunar artwork Museum of the Moon will be the backdrop. More details here.
- Already started until September 2019 - Summer of Space festival at the Science Museum, London. This will feature an array of cinematic and interactive productions including Apollo 11: First Steps, a 48-minute cinematic recreation of the real-life moon landing; Space Descent VR, a virtual reality experience with British astronaut Tim Peake; and Apollo Astronights (Saturday, 20th July), a family sleepover with workshops, space activities and Imax 3D films (a version for children with special needs is on Saturday, 3rd August). More details here.
- Thursday, 6th June (and also on Thursday, 4th July, Thursday, 8th August and Thursday, 5th September) - One Giant Leap: Talk and Tour at the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the exhibitions, attend the One Giant Leap talk with one of Jodrell Bank's expert explainers, followed by an optional walking tour around the base of the Lovell Telescope. More details here.
- Thursday, 6th June - The book Apollo 11: The Inside Story by David Whitehouse, Icon Books (£12.99), went on sale. An authoritative account of Apollo 11 and the end of the space race, shedding light on the true drama behind the mission. The book is based on accounts from the crew, engineers, NASA officials and politicians, as well as Soviet rivals. More details here.
- Thursday, 27th June - The book Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith, Bloomsbury (£9.99) will land (geddit?!) on the bookshelves.This is a new edition of the award-winning 2009 book blending history, reportage and memoir, described at the time as "wonderful" by David Bowie and "extremely thought-provoking" by J G Ballard. The new edition includes a chapter-length afterword, in which Smith writes about the 12 men who walked on the Moon and his interviews with the surviving nine. More details here.
- Friday, 28th June - The film Apollo 11 will launch (geddit?) in UK cinemas. Director Todd Douglas Miller and his team worked through 11,000 hours of unreleased audio and film from the Apollo 11 mission, in partnership with NASA and the National Archives. The film is made up entirely of original footage, and features no narration, cutaway interviews or recreated scenes. More details here.
- Thursday, 11th July - The ITV television channel will, at 9.00 p.m., premiere the documentary The Day We Walked on the Moon which tells the story of the Apollo 11 mission and includes interviews with key figures. More details here.
- Thursday, 11th July - The book Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson, Atheneum Books (£12.99), will be released in bookshops. The Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures shone a light on Katherine Johnson, who in 2015 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. Now, her forthcoming autobiography reveals what it was like to work on Apollo 11 as an African American female mathematician. More details here.
- Friday, 12th July - The film Armstrong launches in UK cinemas. Featuring the voice of Harrison Ford, the film documents Neil Armstrong's days as a fighter pilot in Korea, and of the Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 missions. It will include new family footage, NASA images, and documents from Purdue University's Armstrong archives. More details here.
- Monday, 15th July - BBC to air Stargazing: Moonlanding with Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain travelling to where the historic Apollo 11 mission began - Cape Canaveral in Florida. They will hear first-hand from astronaut General Charlie Duke what it was like to guide Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the Moon in the Lunar Lander and how he followed in their footsteps three years later.
- Wednesday, 17th July - BBC2 will air 8 Days to the Moon, a feature-length drama documentary which brings the story of the Apollo 11 mission as it really happened. With access to declassified cockpit audio, cutting-edge digital effects will be used to create a visual journey bringing the original audio to life.
- Friday, 19th July - The Moon Exhibition, the UK's biggest exhibition dedicated to Earth's celestial neighbour, opens at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, and runs until Sunday, 5th January 2020. More details, including how to buy tickets (which are already available), can be found here.
- Saturday, 20th July - On the BIG DAY, Cardiff Astronomical Society will be helping the National Museum Wales in Cardiff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon. We will have lunar samples for you to take a close look at, Moon-observing project booklets and maps to take away, telescopes/binoculars and advice on how to observe our nearest neighbour and, if you were living in South Wales at the time, the opportunity to relive your youth by skimming through a scrapbook collection of newspapers collated by one of our members together with other memorabilia/magazines of all things lunar. Don't worry about your age - put your face through the cut-out Buzz Aldrin and have your photo taken as an astronaut whilst holding the lunar samples! There are many other activities being held in the Museum throughout the day including two talks from CAS Chairperson Phill Wallace on the Apollo program itself and the many conspiracy theories about the lunar landing being faked. Plenty to entertain and educate you throughout the day and it's FREE! More details here