NASA launched Apollo 11 to the moon 50 years ago on July 16, 1969, and four days later — on July 20 — man set foot on the moon for the very first time.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, Fort Bend County Libraries’ George Memorial Library in Richmond will have a “Moon Landing 50th Anniversary Festival” on Saturday, July 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Meeting Room of the library.
Several activities are planned to commemorate the occasion, including a countdown of the actual events and moments that led up to the landing on the moon. Relive memories of the historic event, hear about behind-the-scenes preparations, and marvel at the evolution of technology in a relatively short period of time. What exactly did it take to accomplish this successful, history-making mission?
The day’s activities will begin at 11:15 a.m., with the showing of a newly released documentary focusing on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission — the first spaceflight to land men on the moon. Directed by Todd Douglas Miller, this cinematic event was crafted from conventional archival materials as well as a newly discovered trove of footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings that were previously unreleased to the public. The absence of feature narration or present-day interviews allows viewers to experience the proceedings and emotions as they might have during the actual event. The documentary is rated G.
From 1-3 p.m., hear a behind-the-scenes account from one of the NASA scientists who helped make the dream of space travel a reality.
Retired physicist F. Don Cooper will share his experiences creating the technology that helped launch Apollo 11 in 1969. Cooper will also discuss the history of U.S. rockets, and his role in designing the Saturn V ascent guidance and trans-lunar targeting equations that would help make space travel possible.
Cooper’s presentation will be divided into two parts. Part 1 — “Saturn Vehicle Guidance Equations” – will take place from 1-2:30 p.m., and Part 2 — “To the Moon & Back” – will take place from 2:30-3 p.m.
At 3 p.m., watch the original moon-landing footage that led up to the lunar landing at 4:18 pm EDT.
Popular snacks from the summer of 1969 will be served, thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the George Memorial Library.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, see the Fort Bend County Libraries website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), or call George Memorial Library (281-342-4455) or the library system’s Communications Office (281-633-4734).
George Memorial Library is located at 1001 Golfview Drive in Richmond.