How to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing this month

By Australian Geographic 4 July 2019
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We’ve got you sorted for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.

THE 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing is quickly approaching.

The Moon landing is a defining moment in history.

For those who followed the mission’s progress hour by hour, it hardly seems possible that 50 years have passed since mankind first stood on the Moon.

That historic flight began on 16 July 1969 with a flawless lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, and ended eight days later when Apollo 11’s tiny command module and its three-man crew splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean.

The highlight of the mission was the 21.5hours spent on the Moon’s surface by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, following their landing in the lunar module Eagle on 20 July. 

Half a billion people watched live TV coverage of their Moon walk (courtesy of Australia’s Honeysuckle Creek and Parkes radio telescopes).

Here’s how you can celebrate the historic day.

(Image credit: NASA)

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary at the Powerhouse Museum

Exhibition – Sydney

The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney is celebrating the Apollo 11 Moon landing with the exhibition Apollo 11, which consists of over 200 objects from the Museum’s extensive collection. 

The highlight of the exhibition is Luke Jerram’s installation Museum of the Moon – an enormous Moon sculpture, 7m in diameter (an approximate scale of 1:500,000).

Get your tickets here

Apollo 11 Opening Screening Night

Film screening – Australia-wide

The new documentary Apollo 11 features extensive archival footage, giving viewers the chance to see how the Moon landing was executed, from start to finish.

Plenty of local cinemas are holding screenings of the new documentary on the anniversary of the landing. 

The Dendy in Newtown has partnered with the Powerhouse Museum to screen the film, with an introduction by Dr Sarah Reeves, Astrophysicist and Curator of Apollo 11 exhibition.

Get your tickets here.

Join CSIRO to celebrate the Apollo 11 Moon landing

Open day – New South Wales

The CSIRO will celebrate the Moon landing at the Parkes Radio Telescope on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July.

The event will include a screening of the movie The Dish, introduced by one of the film’s stars Roy Billing, who played the Mayor of Parkes.

CSIRO have partnered with ABC Radio to broadcast the event live. 

For more information click here.


Tracking Apollo: 50 years since the Moon landing

Panel discussion – Canberra

The National Museum of Australia is holding a panel discussion on 19 July 2019, hosted by Andrew Tink, author of Honeysuckle Creek: The Story of Tom Reid, A Little Dish and Neil Armstrong’s First Step.

Andrew Tink has written an article for Issue 151 of Australian Geographic about Australia’s contribution to the Moon landing. 

The panel includes trackers who were at Honeysuckle Creek 50 years ago: Deputy Director, Mike Dinn; Operations Manager, John Saxon; and technicians Bryan Sullivan and Gillian Schoenborn.

Get your tickets here.

NASA – A Human Adventure

Exhibition –Queensland

NASA – A Human Adventure is the most comprehensive and extensive touring space flight exhibition in the world.

The exhibition features more than 250 historically significant artefacts from the United States and Soviet Union space programs.

Get your tickets here.

Moon Adventure

Interactive – Canberra

Questaco’s new Moon exhibit is a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. 

They’ve put on a special display that celebrates the work of the mathematicians, engineers and scientists that achieved what many thought was impossible.

Find out more here.

Have a Moon movie night


If you’re the ultimate space enthusiast this is your chance to get your friends over for a Moon-themed movie night.

Include titles such as Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar or E.T.

You could even play the remastered footage of the 1969 Apollo 11 walk.

If you’re really, really dedicated, try to replicate Moon food! 

Visit an observatory


Around Australia there are plenty of incredible observatories open to the public for their enjoyment.

A little-known fact is that Australia, a land blessed with low light pollution, has more than its fair share of great observatories.

Check out our top 10 here.