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Countdown to Apollo 50

"One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind."

On July 20, 1969, humans first set foot on the Moon. This year, at the Science Center of Iowa, we are celebrating those first small steps and looking forward to the next giant leaps in space exploration.

Countdown to Apollo 50 events:

  • July 9, 2019 - Space Speaker: Preparing for Liftoff (6:00-7:30 pm)
    Join NASA Solar System Ambassador to learn about the pre-Apollo programs that laid the foundation for Moon missions. Event is free and open to the public.Learn more
  • July 16, 2019 - Global Rocket Launch (9:00 am - 5:00 pm)
    Participate in the worldwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch with mass rocket launches at 9:32 am, 11:32 am, 1:32 pm and 3:32 pm. Activities are included with SCI general admission.
  • July 19, 2019 - Mixology Night: Moon Landing (5:30-9:00 pm)
    Celebrate the anniversary at this adults-only night at SCI. (21+ event) Activities are included with Mixology admission ($7 per person).Learn more
  • July 20, 2019 - Apollo 50 Anniversary Celebration (9:00 am - 5:00 pm)
    Activities are included with SCI general admission. Details below!
  • July 20, 2019 - Film Premiere: "Live From the Moon" (5:30-7:00 pm)
    Discover how Iowa’s own Collins Radio Company, now Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, played a vital role in the communications, telemetry and navigation systems that were used during Apollo 11 and the following missions. Film will be screened in the John Deere Adventure Theater. Tickets are $5 per person. To purchase tickets, click here, select July 20 and click on "Live From the Moon" or call 515-274-6868 ext. 222.
  • July 20, 2019 - Star Party at SCI (8:00-10:00 pm)
    Gaze through telescopes as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Event is free and open to the public. Learn more
  • August 13, 2019 - Space Speaker: Live From the Moon (6:00-7:30 pm)
    Representatives from Collins Radio Company will introduce a new documentary, “Live From the Moon,” which details the vital role their equipment played in the communications, telemetry and navigation systems that were used during Apollo 11 and the following missions. The film will be screened following the presentation. Event is free and open to the public.
  • August 23, 2019 - SCI's Big Blast (6:30-11:00 pm)
    The Science Center of Iowa’s annual fundraising gala, SCI’s Big Blast, is “blasting off” this year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Learn more

Apollo 50 Anniversary Celebration - Saturday, July 20, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and dream big about the future of space exploration! Complete the Mission Checklist Challenge by visiting stations where you will test your brain, your body and your creativity with activities like:

  • Train Like An Astronaut
  • Apollo trivia
  • Space career game
  • Space memory/dream wall
  • Planetarium shows
  • Solar System Ambassador presentations
  • NASA archival video, including a time-synced video of the moon landing... 50 years later!

History of the Apollo program  (1963-1972)

1964-1966
Uncrewed Earth-orbiting missions test rockets and systems

January 27, 1967
Apollo 1 Launch Pad Accident - resulted in the tragic loss of three Apollo astronauts

November 9, 1967
Apollo 4 - First all-up launch of Saturn V

January 22, 1968
Apollo 5 - First test of Lunar Module in space

April 4, 1968
Apollo 6 - Final uncrewed Apollo test flight

October 11, 1968
Apollo 7 - First crewed Apollo flight
Splashdown October 22, 1968
Fact Sheet

December 21, 1968
Apollo 8 - Lunar orbit and return
Returned to Earth December 27, 1968
Fact Sheet

March 3, 1969
Apollo 9 - First crewed Lunar Module test
Splashdown March 13, 1969
Fact Sheet

May 18, 1969
Apollo 10 - Lunar orbit and return
Returned to Earth May 26, 1969
Fact Sheet

July 16, 1969
Apollo 11 - Landed on Moon (Sea of Tranquility) July 20, 1969
Returned to Earth July 24, 1969
Fact Sheet

November 14, 1969
Apollo 12 - Landed on Moon (Ocean of Storms) November 19, 1969
Returned to Earth November 24, 1969

April 11, 1970
Apollo 13 - Lunar flyby and return (malfunction forced cancellation of lunar landing)
Returned to Earth April 17, 1970

January 31, 1971
Apollo 14 - Landed on Moon (Fra Mauro) February 5, 1971
Returned to Earth February 9, 1971

July 26, 1971
Apollo 15 - Landed on Moon (Hadley Rille) July 30, 1971
Returned to Earth August 7, 1971

April 16, 1972
Apollo 16 - Landed on Moon (Descartes) April 20, 1972
Returned to Earth April 27, 1972

December 7, 1972
Apollo 17 - Landed on Moon (Taurus-Littrow) December 11, 1972
Returned to Earth December 19, 1972

Upcoming Events

  • Jul 16 2019 | 9:30AM – 3:30PM

    Global Rocket Launch

  • Jul 20 2019 | 9:00AM – 5:00PM

    Apollo 50 Anniversary Celebration