Americans are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which arrives on July 20th. And Colorado, with its wealth of aerospace institutions and growing legacy in the industry, will be one of the epicentres of the celebration.
Here are a few public, family-friendly events happening along the Front Range in the coming days to help you slip into an alien state of mind.
The biggest and most exciting celebration is Apollopalooza, a sprawling event at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, the state’s official aerospace facility. The week-long festival attracts local and national civil, military, academic, and industrial luminaries to tell the story of America’s burgeoning steps from the planet, with panels, big names, and screenings. The program for the festival, July 13-20, includes a “Launch Party” on July 13 with breakfast, daytime lectures, and a headlining event at 6:30 pm by Senator Harrison Schmidt, retired NASA astronaut and Senator from New Mexico, which was part of Apollo 17 (the last Apollo mission).
A child-friendly STEAM festival, screenings with personal and virtual questions and answers and more can be found at wingsmuseum.org/events/apollo (we particularly like “A Brush with the Future”, the documentary about Chesley Bonestell – “the father of space art” – Screening July 18). Note that some events – like the July 16 presentation with legendary Mission Control flight director Gene Kranz – are already sold out. Tickets: USD 13 per screening; 23- $ 28 for day passes; $ 100- $ 185 weekly passes. 7711 E. Academy Blvd. in the Lowry district. (Full Disclosure: I’ll host the Apollo Veterans Panel at 1 p.m. on July 16.)
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
The popular institution of the city park is showing the new documentary “Apollo 11” produced by CNN in its Phipps IMAX theater. This special (2D) version of Todd Douglas Miller’s film, called “First Steps Edition,” features newly discovered 70mm footage and dialogue from more than 11th.000 hours of audio recording of the mission. Visit apollo11firstteps.com to learn more about the film or dmns.org to purchase tickets ($ 6 to $ 7) for the family-friendly screenings, which run through January 1, 2020. Note: They cost $ 14 to $ 19 in addition to general museum admission; children under 2 years of age have free admission.
The museum also has moon landing-related programs for the 50th anniversary, including a “Moon Mayhem” version of its Science Lounge starting on the 21st per movie or $ 70 for the series; to August 14), a “Digital Moon” program in the Gates Planetarium (US $ 8, August 13) and finally a museum-wide Apollo 11 First Steps Celebration (10 am to 4 pm July) 20). 2001 Colorado Boulevard.
University of Colorado
CU-Boulder, which is currently playing a role in the revitalized lunar program, is celebrating its 50th. This includes presentations such as “Our Future in Space: The Moon and Beyond” at the Fiske Planetarium ($ 7-10 $; 7:00 pm on July 12th), the premiere of “CAPCOM Go! The Apollo Story ”(also in Fiske, 8:30 pm July 12) and“ ¡Nuestra Luna Especial! Our Special Moon, ”a child-friendly, Spanish-language program in Fiske from the Francisco“ Tito ”Salas of the Planetarium (4-5pm July 14; $ 7- $ 10).
There’s a lot more to come – including special talks and a full day of family-friendly activities on July 20th. Visit colorado.edu/today/moon or colorado.edu/fiske for more. 2414 Regent Drive in Boulder.
As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the Colorado Symphony Music Director Brett Mitchell will host a night of live music by composer John Williams (with selections from not only “Star Wars” but also “ET” and “Close Encounters of the Third”. Kind “) and contemporary American composers Mason Bates and James Beckel, all accompanied by archival footage from the moon landing and other images. 7:30 p.m. July 20 at the Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St. Tickets: $ 10- $ 94 via coloradosymphony.org.
A still image from “Chasing the Moon” shows the moment after an American astronaut set up the flag on the surface of the moon. (Provided by PBS)
Denver Public Library
With “Fly Me to the Moon: The Apollo 11 Lunar Landing” from the Denver Public Library, children can experience what it was like as three astronauts to the moon and back for eight days (July 16-25, 1969) rest, presented by STEMpunkED. The free learning program from 10.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. takes place in the Decker branch library, 1501 S. Logan St. and, according to the library’s website, is ideal for ages 8 and up. The event does not require registration. denverlibrary.org
Space Foundation Discovery Center
The Space Foundation’s Discovery Center, which balances child-friendliness with substance, will host events on July 20 from 10 a.m., including bBreakfast with an astronaut Duane “Digger” Carey (US $ 20-40) and various activities that are included in the regular admission price to the Discovery Center, from an Air Force Academy presentation to rocket chemistry to virtual reality, an opportunity to drive a Lockheed Martin rover and space face painting. The food trucks Ice Cream Lab, Kona Ice, Heavenly Dog, Piglatin and Prospector’s Cart will also be on site. Cards: $ 3- $ 8; 3 and below free; via Discoverspace.org. 4425 Arrowswest Drive in Colorado Springs.
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
On July 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fort Collins’ Museum of Discovery will be taken over by Apollo 11-related activity stations in the exhibit gallery. The activities are open to all ages and include general admission, museum officials said, but are recommended for children 5 and older. Admission Tickets: $ 9.50 to $ 12.50; free from 2 years. fcmod.org.
Space Week at Harkins
Harkins Theaters is celebrating its own Space Week with screenings of “Apollo 11” (the new documentary), “Apollo 13” (the 1995 narrative), “First Man”, “Gravity” and “Interstellar” from July 12th to 18th. Movies are $ 5 each, but for $ 20 you can get an all-access pass with one ticket to each movie and unlimited Moon Cheese and Starburst from $ 3 through July 18. Harkins Northfield 18 in the Northfield Stapleton Development is the only location in Colorado for the series, which has over two screenings per day. Visit harkins.com/space-week for times and daily breakdowns. 8300 E. Northfield Blvd.
While a few documentaries have premiered to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the Apollo 11 anniversary, more are to come, some of which will run almost continuously until July 20th. Nat Geos “Apollo: Missions to the Moon”, who bowed July 7th, joins the American Experience series “Chasing the Moon”. which runs regularly on Rocky Mountain PBS (Channel 12) and tells little-known stories from the early days of the space program.
These include Ed Dwight of Denver, the first African American ever trained as an astronaut (now a successful, internationally known sculptor) and Frances “Poppy” Northcutt, the only woman in the early days of the space program. After the premiere from July 8th to 10th, the three-part “Hunting the Moon” will air encores on Tuesdays this month, including July 16, 23 and 30, from 9pm to 11pm, and a marathon broadcast from 3pm to 9pm July 20. rmpbs.org.
Live stream and audio
An accompanying podcast series for the CNN-produced documentary “Apollo 11” is also now available. Hosted by Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent and presenter for Reliable Sources, Apollo 11: Beyond the Moon is available in five parts at cnn.com/specials/podcasts or via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and other online sources available .
Finally, NASA will be streaming live from their website starting July 19 at 11 a.m., with broadcasts from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the historic, newly restored control room of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Hunstville, Ala stories, amazing facts, exclusive pictures, and more will be available through nasa.gov/nasalive.