Planet Earth is counting down to 50 years since NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin stepped onto the moon. To celebrate, Space City is holding many events, including documentaries, exhibits and panel discussions.
Already Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner kicked off celebrations at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday, along with Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer and former NASA Chief Astronaut Peggy Whitson.
Here are more ways to mark the historic anniversary:
- Space Center Houston: The center's NASA Tram Tours take visitors to the Mission Operations Control Center, a national historic landmark that has been restored to how it looked in the 1960s. Visitors can experience an immersive audio-visual experience, learn more about Apollo's historic flight and participate in hands-on workshops about science and engineering. This Saturday, the center will feature a host of speakers from the Apollo era and today. Plus, there’ll be an outdoor concert and festival featuring the band WALK THE MOON and singer Phillip Phillips and a live interactive countdown to Neil Armstrong’s first steps on July 20, 1969, at 9:56 p.m. (Central Time).
When: July 16 through July 24
Where: Space Center Houston (1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058)
Cost: Included with general admission ticket to Space Center Houston
Cost for Saturday’s events: Public price: $49.95; Member price: $20 per ticket up to 6 tickets
- City of Friendswood: The Friendswood Public Library will host panel discussions about the Apollo Flight Control and Recovery operations and show a documentary about the historic NASA mission. A Splashdown event at Stevenson Park will feature children's activities, including rocket launches, a classic car show and a concert.
When: July 18 through July 27
Where: City of Friendswood Public Library (416 S Friendswood Dr, Friendswood, TX 77546)
- Discovery Green: In downtown Houston, Discovery Green will have a full lineup of events and activities this Saturday. They include: a paratrooper landing by the Golden Knights; exhibitions prepared by the Johnson Space Center and the Lone Star Flight Museum; a screening of the CNN documentary “Apollo 11;” and an appearance by NASA astronaut Steve Bowen.
When: July 20 starting at 6 p.m.
Where: Discovery Green (1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010)
- Children’s Museum of Houston: “Star Wars” is the theme for this event, which will feature a meet-and-greet with characters inspired by the popular sci-fi movie saga. Visitors are encouraged to dress as their favorite “Star Wars” characters. The museum will also show footage of the CBS TV broadcast of the Apollo 11 mission.
When: July 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Children's Museum of Houston (1500 Binz St., Houston, TX 77004)
Cost: General Museum admission: $12 per person, $11 for seniors 65+ and $10 for active duty military members. Children under one and Museum Members receive free admission
- Lunar and Planetary Institute: This event is titled “Apollo 11: Looking Back to Move Forward” and will feature three 15-minute presentations which will delve into lunar exploration.
When: July 20, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Lunar and Planetary Institute (3600 Bay Area Boulevard Houston, TX 77058)
- The Health Museum: Experts from Baylor College of Medicine and two former NASA astronauts will discuss the moon landing and health in space. Following the panel, there will be a screening of the Smithsonian's “The Day We Walked on the Moon.”
When: July 20 at 3 p.m.
Where: The Health Museum (1515 Hermann Dr. Houston, Texas 77004)
- Clear Lake-Friendswood Lunar Landing Family Run: The organization Running Alliance Sport will organize a family-oriented 5K race in the Clear Lake-Friendswood area, close to the Johnson Space Center.
When: July 21, starting at 7:15 a.m.
Where: Clear Lake Recreation and Community Center (16511 Diana Ln, Houston, TX 77062)
Cost: $35 for registration in the race
- NASA night at the Astros game: NASA will bring “Destination Station,” an exhibit about the International Space Station, to Minute Maid Park and will do outreach before and during the ball game.
When: July 22 (The game is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m.)
Where: Minute Maid Park (501 Crawford St, Houston, TX 77002)
Cost: Included with general admission ticket
- Moon landing event at the University of Houston: UH’s Student Center will celebrate the anniversary with the “Driven to Explore” exhibit, plus a Google Space Virtual Reality and a showcase of internship opportunities at NASA.
When: July 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: University of Houston Student Center (4455 University Dr., Houston, TX, 77004)
- NASA Night at the Dynamo game: NASA will take its exhibit about the International Space Station to BBVA Stadium for soccer fans to check out before and during the game.
When: July 27 (The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.)
Where: BBVA Stadium (2200 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77003)
Cost: Included with general admission ticket
- City of Tomball: Tomball’s historic 1907 Railroad Depot Museum will feature a miniature display of Tranquility Base, the part of the moon where Armstrong and Aldrin landed the lunar module. The exhibit will also show educational videos and a display of Apollo mission patches.
When: Weekends throughout July
Where: Tomball 1907 Railroad Depot Museum (201 South Elm St., Tomball, TX, 77375)