State Museum celebrates moon landing’s golden anniversary

CARSON CITY, Nevada – Fifty years after Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took “one giant leap for mankind,” the image of putting a man on the moon remains a source of pride wrapped in awe for most Americans.

The young and young of heart still dream of becoming astronauts and most people 50-plus can tell you where they were and what they were doing that July day in 1969.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, the Nevada State Museum has a host of activities planned July 23-26 – programs designed to look back at the past, learn about the present and inspire the future.

One part is a new case in the Our Nevada Stories Gallery that features the two Goodwill Moon Rocks that were collected by the astronauts on the moon and given to the people of the State of Nevada (all states received a sample.)

Activities include three guest speakers:

  • On Tuesday, July 23, Dr. Richard Simmonds will be speaking about the history of the Apollo Lunar Quarantine Program.
  • On Thursday, July 25, Paul MacNeilage, D. from the University of Nevada, Reno will be talking about his research to use virtual reality to make training astronauts less expensive.
  • On Friday, July 26, David Feil-Seifer, Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno will talk about his research into making robots collaborate with humans during space exploration.

All the lectures begin at 2 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 24, the museum will be collaborating with Western Nevada College Jack C. Davis Observatory, Carson City Library and Carson City Classic Cinema Club to offer a variety of multimedia activities both inside and outside of the museum.

Solar telescopes, an impact crater experience, seltzer rocket demonstrations, a chance to build and test balloon powered rocket cars to take home, and an augmented reality experience focused on planets, asteroids, the moon and more will be set up in the museum’s parking lot.

Inside the museum will be a screening of the new documentary by Todd Miller “Apollo 11 (2019).” It will be showing at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

On Friday, July 26, the Reno Coin Club will have a display of space-related coins in the museum’s concourse. This display includes the U.S. Commemorative Coin for the Apollo 11 anniversary. This activity runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All activities outside or in the concourse are free.

Museum admission is $8 for adults; free for members and children 17 and younger.