Dedicating an anniversary day to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Man’s first step on the Moon and the future of lunar exploration
SUNDAY 21 JULY 2019 #ApolloDay
Fifty years after Apollo 11’s feat, Cité de l’espace is organising a brand‑new event around Man’s first step on the Moon and the future of lunar exploration. More than a celebration, APOLLO DAY aims to bring together the public, scientists, astronauts, researchers, journalists and eye witnesses of Apollo missions around interactive and collective scientific activities. On Sunday 21 July 2019, 50 years, to the day, after the exploit on the Moon, Cité de l’espace invites the general public, amateurs and aficionados, to relive the Moon landing together around activities, surprises and shows.
An exceptional day to relive the exploit on the Moon
RELIVING A HISTORIC FEAT
On 21 July 1969 – at 3:56am (in France): 600 million viewers, their eyes riveted to their television screen, wanted to witness a historic achievement: Man’s first step on the Moon. At the NASA Control Centre, staff waited impatiently and anxiously for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s arrival. Then, all of a sudden, the images came alive on the airwaves. Equipped with a movie camera, the two astronauts broadcast live images of the Moon all over the whole world. Neil Armstrong was the first to leave the Lunar Module (LM), setting foot on the Earth’s satellite, when he uttered the unforgettable phrase: One small step for a man; one giant leap for Mankind! The lunar exploit had been achieved.
Although the astronauts have left unforgettable memories in all minds, very little is known of the exemplary work accomplished by over 400,000 people involved in the Apollo missions. Indeed, Space exploration, like lunar exploration, was, above all a collective adventure involving highly dedicated men and women. Thus, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Cité de l’espace is organising an exciting day of activities, admission free, so the public can relive this feat through activities, exhibitions and shows and enable them to propose their vision of future lunar exploration.
EXCHANGING WITH SPACE SPECIALISTS AND COLLECTIVELY IMAGINING THE FUTURE OF LUNAR EXPLORATION
An exceptional anniversary, with exceptional guests! The French astronaut and Cité de l’espace sponsor, Claudie Haigneré, will be there to share her knowledge and experience with the public. Surrounded by prestigious guests: astronauts representing Space agencies (CNES, NASA, ESA), astrophysicists, engineers, architects, journalists and other specialists of the Moon. These guests will participate in several meetings around four main themes on the past, but especially the future of lunar exploration:
- Apollo missions’ challenges
- Returning to the Moon
- First steps
- Living on the Moon
The public will be invited to interact with participants discussing the four main themes of the meeting (see above). These highlights aim to raise awareness in the general public to lunar exploration, explaining the feat accomplished by Apollo 11, the knowledge provided to the world by this exploration and showing the youngest people the many challenges that remain to be met.
RELIVING PAST EXPERIENCE TO WORK TOGETHER TO BUILD TOMORROW’S EXPERIENCES
As part of this look back on key moments in the history of Space exploration the better to understand the challenges of tomorrow, Cité de l’espace wanted to recreate on this day a visual and auditory atmosphere inspired by the time when Man first stepped on the Moon.
The presence in the middle of the gardens of a full-size Apollo Lunar Module (LM) (photo above) will offer a chance for parents or grandparents to relive the American astronauts’ historic moon landing and for their children to dream of Space exploration. All day long, many activities will be organised:
- The Lunar Module (Apollo LM, cf. photo above): our mediators will help visitors discover the extraordinary spacecraft that enabled Man to land on the Moon (over 7 metres high).
- The Moonwalk: an immersive activity to help the public feel, like the Apollo 11 astronauts, the movements of their bodies as if they were on the Moon, and try to reproduce this way of walking with professional dancers.
- The first step: in a participative activity, visitors together will reproduce the footprint of the astronauts’ giant step: a way of recalling that lunar exploration requires teamwork.
- Final celebration: at precisely 21.56, the hour of the day when Armstrong first set foot on the Moon (Eastern Daylight US time), visitors will enjoy a special show around the Lunar Module and in the gardens.
AND TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT EXHIBITIONS ON THE MOON AND A COMPLETELY NEW FILM ON GIANT SCREEN
- Moon, Episode 2: 50 years after Man’s first step on the Moon, on 21 July 1969, plans for Man’s return to Earth’s only natural satellite are taking shape. Cité de l’espace with its exhibition, Moon, Episode 2 invites the public to prepare for new challenges: take-off for a lunar journey ‘made in’ Cité de l’espace. The core of the exhibition transports the public to a lunar village of the future to raise awareness to the environment on the Moon, with sensory experiments and amazing challenges.
- The new film, Apollo 11, First Steps Edition, sheds new light on the famous Apollo 11 mission thanks to images from archives never shown before to be discovered on the giant IMAX® screen. From the atmosphere of the last preparations for take-off to Man’s first steps on the Moon, and this landmark mission’s return to Earth. This immersive experience offers new perspectives on one of Mankind’s greatest achievements.
- In the permanent exhibitions, the public can approach and admire a genuine Moon rock brought back from the Apollo 15 mission by the astronauts and entrusted by NASA to Cité de l’espace.
PRESS ACCREDITATION: please register with firstname.lastname@example.org (surname, given name, media, tel.). For accompanying journalists, please register them beforehand here (access subject to availability).
FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC: ADMISSION FREE AFTER PRIOR REGISTRATION
Admission free after prior registration here (access subject to availability)
Cité de l’espace, Avenue Jean-Gonord, 31500 Toulouse, France
Sunday 21 July 2019, from2pm to 10:30pm
ABOUT CITÉ DE L’ESPACE
Arousing curiosity, inciting to learn more, instigating scientific vocations, making Space, astronomy and scientific culture accessible to everyone: such are the challenges for Cité de l’espace. A Leader Site on Europe for the dissemination of the culture of Space and Astronomy among the general public, Cité de l’espace is a facility belonging to Toulouse Métropole, open in 1997 at the instigation of the Municipality of Toulouse, with support from the Occitanie-Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region, its co-founders CNES, Airbus Defence & Space, Météo-France, the French Ministry of Education, along with Thales Alenia Space, Caisse des Dépôts & Consignations, Caisse d’Epargne Midi-Pyrénées and its partners: ESA, Canopé, University Toulouse III Paul-Sabatier, CNRS, OMP (Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées), IRAP, Safran and Onera.
Avenue Jean-Gonord – 31506 Toulouse Cedex 5