Apollo 50 Celebrations at the National Space Centre

On 21 December 2018 the National Space Centre is revealing a brand new exhibition dedicated to all things Apollo. Space Oddities: Apollo 50 marks the start of a year long celebration of that “one giant leap for mankind” and will open to the public half a century since the launch of Apollo 8.

Ranking among humankind's greatest achievements, Project Apollo was the third United States human spaceflight programme carried out by NASA, which accomplished landing the first humans on the Moon between 1969 to 1972.

When you think of the National Space Centre you might not think of Snoopy or sporting goods displayed alongside rockets, spacecraft, and meteorites. But these items tell unique stories and form an integral part of our Space Oddities: Apollo 50 exhibit. We’re inviting you to find out more about the fascinating stories behind the items in our collection such as the first ‘Lunar Olympics’.

Dan Kendall, Curator at the National Space Centre, said: “Acquiring objects for Space Oddities is one of the most fun things I get to do. The quirkier the better as far as I am concerned. Working with a team of people we look to select odd space objects to sit alongside our spacecraft, rockets, and meteorites, allowing us to share some of the more unusual stories from space history.”

Before astronauts could take a giant leap for mankind on the lunar surface, Frank Borman, James Lovell Jr. and William Anders went around the moon and back in a lunar orbit on NASA’s Apollo 8 mission. It set the stage for 1969’s Apollo 11 mission.

Dan added: “21 December 1968 saw the launch of Apollo 8, a mission that proved that we could send humans to the Moon and bring them back safely. Apollo 11 wouldn’t have been possible without all the previous missions that paved the way. Space Oddities: Apollo 50 is a chance to celebrate all of the Apollo missions and tell some stories that you might not already know.”

What’s happening at the National Space Centre?

Over the course of the next year the National Space Centre will be creating magical moments for visitors to celebrate the Apollo programme. There will be special guests, unique stories, events, workshops, and talks aimed at all ages. Whether you watched the Moon landings live on TV or are just starting to learn about the Solar System you’re welcome to join in the celebrations at the Space Centre. NSC Creative, the team behind the multi-award winning fulldome shows produced at the National Space Centre, are also creating a brand new Apollo-themed Planetarium show for 2019.