Saturn 5 rocket projected on Washington Monument

Apollo 50

Half a century ago, on July 20, 1969, humans walked on the Moon for the first time — and returned to walk on the lunar surface five more times. We look back at the legacy of our first small steps on the Moon and look forward to the next giant leap.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum continues a national celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions. With our renowned collection and expertise, we hope to spark a national conversation about the past, present, and future of innovation and exploration.

Apollo 50: Go for the Moon unfolded on the face of the Washington Monument in a stunning projection show. Go for the Moon was commissioned by the National Air and Space Museum, created by 59 Productions, and made possible by the generous support of Boeing with additional support from Raytheon.

Past Event

"Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" Full Show

Over 500,000 people joined us on the National Mall this July for the Apollo 50: Go For the Moon projection show on the Washington Monument. You can now relive this once-in-a-lifetime celebration in full. Go for the Moon captures the excitement of the first Moon landing and tells the story of the iconic Apollo 11 mission from launch to landing and beyond.

"Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" was commissioned by the National Air and Space Museum and produced by 59 Productions. The Museum's Apollo 50 programming was made possible by the support of Boeing with additional support from Raytheon.

The Apollo Story

Race to Space

Early Steps

Life in Space

Missions

Moon Landing

Apollo Objects

56 years ago, President Kennedy rallied the nation behind our lunar quest with his iconic "We Choose to Go to the Moon" speech at Rice University.

Together We Choose

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy rallied the nation behind our lunar quest with his iconic "We Choose to Go to the Moon" speech at Rice University. This moment helped usher in the space age as we now know it. As we look back at our past, and ahead to our next great leap, the National Air and Space Museum gathered aerospace ground breakers--scientists, historians, and astronauts from the Apollo-era to today's commercial crew--to commemorate this historic call to action.

Relive Highlights from the Celebration

Past Event

In Conversation with Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins

David Rubenstein interviews Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins as part of the Museum's Apollo 50 Gala.

Apollo 8 was the first human mission to the Moon, and its crew were the first people to see the far side with their own eyes. The mission’s dramatic highlights included a live Christmas Eve broadcast during which the astronauts read verses from the Book of Genesis in lunar orbit, and the iconic Earthrise photo, which stunned the world with the beauty and isolation of our home in the cosmos.

The National Air and Space Museum's The Spirit of Apollo event, filmed at Washington National Cathedral, celebrates that moment of unity and the spiritual meaning of exploration embodied by the first flight to the Moon.

Featuring: - Capt. James A Lovell, NASA astronaut (Apollo 8, Apollo 13, Gemini 7, Gemini 12) - The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church - Ellen R. Stofan, John and Adrienne Mars Director of the National Air and Space Museum - Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator - The Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral

Past Event

The Spirit of Apollo

This special night at Washington National Cathedral celebrated the iconic Apollo 8 Christmas Eve broadcast from space with astronaut Jim Lovell and other special guests

Eugene Kranz played a critical role in many milestones in America's space program, serving as flight director for Apollo 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17. In the lead up to the 50th year anniversary of the first lunar landing in 2019, Kranz recounts highlights from his distinguished career.

Vice Adm. Donald D. Engen Flight Jacket Night is an event for members of the National Air and Space Society. Join now. 

Past Event

Vice Adm. Donald D. Engen Flight Jacket Night

Apollo flight director Gene Kranz talked about his work on Apollo 11 and narrated the landing from his logbook.

Watch the Archived Webcast

“It was so exciting and meaningful that so many of us saw it happen together.”  

 

We want you to hear your memories of Apollo and beyond. Share your spaceflight story online or on social using #Apollo50. 

 

July, 2019 Celebration in DC

Ongoing: Apollo 11 Artifact Case

Objects from the Apollo Moon landings in "50 Years from Tranquility Base"

July 16: Launch Celebration

Watch footage from the Apollo 11 launch at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia

Starting July 16: Armstrong Spacesuit

Neil Armstrong's spacesuit goes on display for the first time in 13 years

July 17: Ready Jet Go! Screening

A screening of PBS's Ready Jet Go! special "One Small Step" with activities and visits from the cast

July 18: Project Egress

Adam Savage builds a life-size replica of command module Columbia's hatch

July 18: Space Diplomacy Panel

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, Museum director Ellen Stofan, and astronaut Charles Bolden discuss space diplomacy

July 18 to 20: Apollo 50 Festival

An outdoor celebration of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with exhibitors and talks

July 19: Discover the Moon Day!

An exploration of lunar science, featuring Museum scientists and hands-on activities

July 19 and 20: "Go for the Moon" Projection Show

A stunning projection of a Saturn V rocket on the Washington Monument with accompanying show

July 20: Late-Night Celebration

An evening of films, music, and hands-on activities, featuring a celebration at 10:56 pm, when Armstrong first set foot on the Moon

Apollo at the Park

Replica statues of Neil Armstrong's spacesuit in MLB ballparks across the country

Race to the Moon

A challenge, powered by Strava, to run 50 miles to celebrate Apollo 11's 50th  anniversary

Destination Moon Traveling Exhibition

An exhibition of Apollo artifacts, including command module Columbia, on tour this summer at the Museum of Flight in Seattle 

Support for Apollo 50 programming is generously provided by
boeing
With additional support from
Raytheon