Western event to celebrate Apollo 11 launch

Fifty years ago today, Apollo 11 launched on a mission to the Moon. Five days later, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface – a first for humankind. In celebration of these remarkable highlights of human achievement, Western is hosting a special event from 5-11 p.m. Saturday at the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory.

Experts from Western’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (London Centre) will lead programming and will also present public talks on the following subjects:

  • To the Moon with Apollo (6:30 p.m.);
  • Canada Returns to the Moon (7 and 9:30 p.m.);
  • On the Moon with Apollo (8:30 p.m.); and
  • Canada’s role in the Apollo project (9 p.m.).

From 5-8:30 p.m., visitors can navigate a lunar crater with a Lego rover, touch a real Moon rock and experience Apollo 11 in virtual reality.

Throughout the event, space enthusiasts can also take a selfie from the ‘surface of the Moon’ and enjoy displays about the Moon, Apollo 11 and Canada’s contributions to space.

Weather permitting, CPSX faculty, staff and students will also offer safe viewing opportunities of the Sun in the afternoon and stargazing in the evening.