Wright Brothers National Memorial, in partnership with Outer Banks Forever, First Flight Foundation, and First Flight Society, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with a series of events from July 18-20.
The anniversary weekend launches the evening of July 18th with a special space-themed movie showing at Dowdy Park in Nags Head, sponsored by the First Flight Foundation. Special space-themed ranger-programs will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with times ranging from 10AM-4:30PM.
Thursday, July 18
Apollo 11 Movie Night
Dowdy Park, Nags Head (Hosted by: First Flight Foundation)
Bring your family out for an outdoor movie night to kick of the weekend festivities! 1960’s attire and space themed costumes are encouraged – Bring beach chairs, blankets, picnic basket and enjoy concessions for purchase from Manteo Lions Club, OBX Sunset Slushies and OBX Frozen Yogurt.
- 6:30PM – Astro Activities with the National Park Service & First Flight Foundation
- 7:00PM – The Apollo Program with Chris Godart, Wright Brothers National Memorial Volunteer and Docent at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum
- 8-8:30PM – Movie begins at nightfall: Hidden Figures
Friday, July 19
Homemade Rocket Launch & Ranger Programs
Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head (Hosted by: Jockey’s Ridge State Park and Friends of Jockey’s Ridge)
Build your own rocket and watch it fly at sunset! Join Jockey’s Ridge State Park rangers and Friends of Jockey’s Ridge on Friday, July 19th to learn about the lunar landing and build and launch your own homemade rocket. Learn about the science behind the rocket launch that led to the historic moon landing 50 years ago!
Event Schedule for Jockey's Ridge:
- 7:00PM – kids’ activities including a station to build your own homemade rocket.
- 7:45PM – group rocket launch just before sunset at 7:45 followed by Sunset on the Ridge ranger program
Event Schedule for Wright Brothers National Memorial:
- 10:00AM, 11:00AM – Sand Dunes & Moon Dust (Ranger Program)
- 12:00PM, 4:00PM – Learn about the events leading to the first powered flight in 1903 and its similarities to the Apollo 11 mission.
- 1:00PM, 2:30PM – The Wright Stuff (Ranger Program): Explore the Legacy of the Wright Brothers from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base
Saturday, July 20
One Giant Leap: 50th Anniversary of Apollo Moon Landing, Ranger Programs, & Astronaut
Experience your park after hours as we recreate that night 50 years ago when locals and visitors flocked to Wright Brothers National Memorial to witness history. On July 20th, the public is invited to watch a special rebroadcast of the news coverage of the original lunar landing outside the visitor center. Some visitors may remember that 50 years ago, on the evening of July 20, 1969, Wright Brothers National Memorial hosted a live news broadcast event for the Apollo moon landing. This year’s rebroadcast event allows visitors to reminisce about their experiences 50 years ago and exposes new audiences to this monumental moment in our history.
Special guest on July 20th will be active NASA Astronaut Eric A. Boe (Colonel, U.S. Air Force Retired). Eric Boe was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2000, and is a veteran of two space shuttle flights, serving as a pilot for the Space Shuttles Endeavour and Discovery. Boe and his crewmates are currently working closely with Boeing to develop their new spacecraft systems, which will provide crew transportation services to the International Space Station and return the ability to launch humans into space from United States soil. Boe will give a special “Ask an Astronaut” program and take part in a public meet-and-greet on Saturday, July 20th, prior to speaking at the evening’s feature event. Wright Brothers National Memorial appreciates First Flight Foundation’s efforts to make Eric Boe’s visit to the Outer Banks possible.
Wright Brothers National Memorial will remain open until 9:30 pm and park admission fees will be waived on July 20. Throughout the evening, visitors are encouraged to participate in a costume contest by dressing up as astronauts, or in 1960s attire. Beach chairs or blankets for comfortable viewing of the rebroadcast event is recommended.
10:00AM, 11:00AM, 4:00PM – Sand Dunes & Moon Dust (Ranger Program): Learn about the events leading to the first powered flight in 1903 and its similarities to the Apollo 11 mission.
10:00AM, 3:00PM, 4:30PM – Planet Walk (Ranger Program): Join a park ranger to walk a scale model of the solar system on the grounds of the memorial. Learn about distant planets and how they relate to each other.
12:00PM – Apollo 11, Final Chapter in the Space Race: National Park Service volunteer, Chris Godart, will present a program called “Apollo 11, Final Chapter in the Space Race.” Explore the events leading up to the historic mission of Apollo 11, and learn how the mission progressed to safely land man on the moon and return to earth.
2:00PM – Ask an Astronaut with NASA Astronaut: NASA Astronaut and Space Shuttle veteran Eric Boe will give a short presentation on his experiences in space and lead a question and answer session with the audience.
3:00PM – The Wright Stuff (Ranger Program): Explore the Legacy of the Wright Brothers from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base
5:00PM – Meet and Greet with NASA Astronaut Eric Boe (Public Event): Meet a real-life astronaut, and interact informally.
7:00PM – Special Guest Speaker (Feature Event) Active NASA astronaut Eric Boe will discuss spaceflight, the legacy of the Wright Brothers
8:10PM – Walter Cronkite Footage of the Moon Landing (Feature Event): Rebroadcast of Walter Cronkite’s famous moon landing news coverage will begin just after 8:00 p.m. and conclude around 8:45 p.m.
(NASA Astronaut Eric Boe, 1 of only 38 active astronauts in the USA.)
(Wright Brothers National Memorial visitors watching a live broadcast of the moon landing the evening of July 20, 1969.)
(The moon above the First Flight Bounder the evening of July 20, 1969.)
(Visitors outside the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center watching a live broadcast of the moon landing the evening of July 20, 1969.)