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The SCENE Magazine

Space Center Houston Marked the Moon Landing with Record-Breaking Interstellar Celebration & Concert

Aug 21, 2019 08:06PM
 Space Center Houston honored the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing with a spectacular all day and evening celebration, Apollo 11 50th Live, presented by JSC Federal Credit Union. Melding the future of space exploration with the historic Apollo era, the leading science and space exploration learning center marked the first steps on the Moon with astronauts, Apollo legends, a concert and record-setting attendance with more than 13,000 space fans throughout the day. From liftoff to first steps on the Moon, Space Center Houston commemorated the Apollo 11 50th anniversary with daily programming aimed at inspiring the next generation of explorers.

“It was an awe-inspiring day filled with excitement and fueled by the historic achievements of the Apollo-era,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of Space Center Houston. “This incredible day was able to be realized thanks to our partner, JSC Federal Credit Union.”

An opening ceremony kicked off the festivities with an aerial parachute demonstration by the US Army Golden Knights and welcome remarks led by Space Center Houston’s president and CEO William T. Harris, who was joined by Mark Geyer, NASA Johnson Space Center director, and elected officials. The interstellar day was centered on innovation and immersive learning opportunities. Guests had fun in The Family STEM Zone, presented by Repsol, featuring hands-on activities, a golfing on the moon simulator, robotic challenges and Apollo-themed learning experiences. An incredible lineup of Apollo legends took part in the week-long festivities and guests heard from many Apollo-era flight controllers about their careers working in the Apollo program.

Guests got up close to a US Army Apache helicopter, experienced a US Army exhibit trailer focusing on robotics and enjoyed a 1960s inspired Discovery Reserve Beer Garden provided by Budweiser. Space fans from around the world filled the festival grounds and grooved under the stars to the sounds of unforgettable performances by WALK THE MOON and Phillip Phillips.
The evening culminated with an interactive countdown to Neil Armstrong's first steps July 20, 1969, at 9:56 p.m. CT. Overlooking the one-of-a-kind Independence Plaza, guests united for the countdown and a sea of synchronized LED-lighted wristbands, presented by Reliant Energy, lit up the night.

Throughout the week, people from 45 different countries attended Space Center Houston's Apollo 11 50th celebrations. Top countries attended included the United States, Mexico, UK, Canada, France, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, Brazil, India and Sweden. The growing nonprofit continues to experience recording-breaking attendance. In the first week of July the center experienced more than a 19 percent increase in attendance compared to prior year followed by the second week of July with a 13 percent increase in attendance compared to prior year. This year the center has drawn more people than ever with multiple record-breaking months and is on track to have its best year ever.