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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:

  • October 20, 2018 - Star Party at Ewing Park (7:00-9:00 pm)
    International Observe the Moon Night
    Learn more
  • December 27, 2018 - Apollo 8: Live Anniversary Webcast (1:00-2:00 pm)
    Join us in the Star Theater planetarium as we celebrate this anniversary. We will join a live webcast recreating the voyage along the actual path synchronized with the astronauts’ spoken words.
  • January 8, 2019 - Cafe Scientifique: Mission to the Moon (6:00-7:30 pm)
    Join NASA Solar System Ambassador Dan Hoy to explore the major events, amazing challenges and crafty solutions NASA scientists employed to get mankind to the Moon. Free event Learn more
  • January 25-26, 2019 - Overnight Adventure: Mission to the Moon
    Learn more
  • March 8, 2019 - Space-themed $5 Family Night (5:00-8:00 pm)
    Join us for space-themed activities: volunteers with Apollo memorabilia, ISU Cardinal Space Mining Club (builders of the "Hermes II" robot now on display in "Why the Sky?") and space demonstrations with SCI staff.
  • May 18, 2019 - Star Party at Ewing Park (9:30-11:30 pm)
    Gaze through telescopes as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 10 lunar orbit and return. Learn more
  • July 19, 2019 - Mixology Night: Moon Landing (5:30-9:00 pm)
    Celebrate the anniversary at this adults-only night at SCI. (21+ event) Learn more
  • July 20, 2019 - Countdown to Apollo 50 Celebration
    More details coming soon!
  • 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. Learn more

SCI also offers monthly Star Party events to view celestial phenomena through high-powered telescopes. View upcoming schedule

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

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

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