DuPont Planetarium celebrates 50th anniversary of moon landing

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– This week we’ve been counting down to a huge milestone: the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The US Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama has had exciting events all week, but we’ve got folks here who are celebrating, too. At USC-Aiken, the DuPont Planetarium has special “Moon Day” programming tomorrow.

“One small step for man… one giant leap for mankind…”
Man’s first steps on the moon and Neil Armstrong’s famous words were etched into history on July 20, 1969. That date coming just 8 years after President John F. Kennedy announced to Congress that the US planned to put people on the moon by the end of the 1960’s.

Dr. Gary Senn is the director of the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

“When Kennedy made that announcement they didn’t have the technology for it, so just the things they had to do… the computer systems that we have today on our phones are more powerful that what they had to get to the moon! You know, we talk about computers today… they then the computers were a group of women who did the mathematics.”

50 years ago, with the work and bravery of many men and women, humankind accomplished the impossible. But, the impact of the Apollo 11 flight can often be lost among younger generations… who haven’t known a time when human beings were bound to the earth alone.

Kevin Bauerle took his daughters to the re-enactment of the Apollo 11 landing at the US Space Center in Huntsville, AL.

“Well, I think it’s important for them to see the technology. Both what the past and future is gonna bring. It’s pretty awesome to see where we’ve been and where we’re going.”

And Dr. Senn says you can see more here at home this weekend, at the DuPont Planetarium, with special showings this weekend of To the Moon and Beyond.

“We’re showing it four times during the evening on the 20th, so we invite people to come and see that. We’ve also had a few groups of people call and ask to bring a larger group and have a private showing. This is a great time of the year to see Jupiter and Saturn. Weather permitting, we have an observatory on the roof of our facility. When it’s dark, it’s the weather is clear, people can look through our telescope and see things.”

For more information about those screenings call 803-641-3654. Tickets are $4.50-$6.50, and just $2 for students and staff. Anyone age 4 and up is welcome!

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