Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11
By Chris Mentrek, Naturalist
“When was the moon landing?” It might be the most common question I’m asked by Observatory Park visitors. And when asked, it’s always spoken of as if it were a single event: the one and only moon landing.
To many 21st century moon watchers, it’s a shock to hear that there was more than one landing. In fact, there were six manned moon landings, one unsuccessful attempt, and a slew of astounding practice missions and dress rehearsals. It’s understandable. Roughly two-thirds of all Americans alive today weren’t alive when the first moon landing took place on July 20, 1969. In the ensuing half-century, our collective memory of the tremendous, decades-long and planet-spanning effort to send humans to our moon has collapsed to a one-off visit by three astronauts.
The truth, however, is far more fascinating. As returning astronaut Michael Collins remarked, “All you see is the three of us, but beneath the surface are thousands and thousands of others.” That’s why we’re devoting the month of July to commemorating the history of humanity’s first efforts to visit our moon.
Find out more about this magnificent undertaking at the Apollo to the Moon program Fridays, July 12 and 26, at 7 PM at Observatory Park. This summer will also be a great time to attend a full moon program, night sky viewing through park telescopes, planetarium show or night out with Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society. Click here to scan our upcoming astronomy-themed programs, all headquartered as usual at your International Dark Sky Park; our complete list of summer programs hit the website June 20 at midnight.