Meet National Air and Space Museum Scientists at “Discover the Moon Day!”

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 11:00am

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Alison Mitchell, 202-633-2376,

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Museum Celebrates 45th Anniversary of Apollo Moon Landing with Family Day

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will present “Discover the Moon Day!” Friday, July 25, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the museum in Washington, D.C. Organized by the museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, the event enables visitors to interact with its team of staff scientists and experts from the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History and NASA. This year, “Moon Day!” will replace the museum’s annual “Mars Day!” event in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing July 20, 1969.

“Moon Day!” displays and activities include opportunities for visitors to:

  • Explore how the museum’s scientists study the moon from the Earth using radar with planetary scientists Bruce Campbell and Lynn Carter
  • Test their moon knowledge at the Lunar Quiz Show
  • Learn about the Command Module “Columbia” that took the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon and back, presented by space-history curator Allan Needell
  • See how ground-penetrating radar at Meteor Crater in Arizona helps scientists study lunar impacts with planetary scientist Patrick Russell
  • Learn about lunar dust, which may be a resource, an annoyance or a hazard on future planetary explorations
  • Test their skills to maneuver a robotic rover or collect samples with a robotic arm.
  • View the lunar surface in 3-D with red/blue glasses
  • See real meteorites that came from the moon interpreted by scientists from the National Museum of Natural History
  • Create lunar art through an art activity for children
  • Hear about the 1960s space race from planetary scientist Ross Irwin
  • Learn about the features on the face of the moon with planetary scientists Maria Banks, Katie Daud and Michelle Selvans
  • See a space suit up close and learn how space-suit technology has changed through time with space-history curator Cathy Lewis
  • Learn about the types of rocks that were collected by the Apollo astronauts with planetary scientists Jim Zimbelman and John Grant
  • Hear about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission with LRO Science Team member Tom Watters and LRO Deputy Project Scientist Noah Petro
  • Listen to planetarium presentation, “Flying to the Moon,” with planetary scientist Michelle Selvans
  • Enjoy special showings of the IMAX film, Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3-D, produced and narrated by Tom Hanks; regular ticket prices apply

There will be a moon story time for children. For more information and a detailed schedule of activities, visit:

With the exception of this special anniversary year, “Mars Day!” is held annually at the museum’s building in Washington to mark the July 1976 landing of Viking 1, the first spacecraft to operate on Mars.

The National Air and Space Museum is on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

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  • Moon
    The waxing gibbous Moon as we viewed it on December 3, 2011.
  • Family Day at the Museum

    A father and son enjoy family day activities at the National Air and Space Museum.

  • Family Day at the Museum

    Parents and children enjoy family day activities at the Museum.

  • Moon Rock

    Visitors can touch a rock from the Moon in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Four other lunar samples are on display at the Museum.