Mark 50 years of Apollo 11 with a screening of APOLLO 13 at CALS Ron Robinson tonight

Apollo 13 PosterOn July 20, 1969, “the Eagle has landed” was uttered as man stepped foot on the moon.

While the Apollo 11 mission was successful, two missions later, Apollo 13 faced many travails.  Ron Howard’s 1995 film explored the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 mission. It is based on the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.

Astronauts Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise aboard Apollo 13 for America’s third Moon landing mission. En route, an on-board explosion deprives their spacecraft of most of its oxygen supply and electric power, forcing NASA’s flight controllers to abort the Moon landing, and turning the mission into a struggle to get the three men home safely.

The film’s star-studded cast includes Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Kathleen Quinlan, and Ed Harris.  The movie was nominated for nine Oscars (Picture, Supporting Actor-Ed Harris, Supporting Actress-Kathleen Quinlan, Adapted Screenplay, Art/Set Direction, Visual Effects, Film Editing, Original Score, and Sound) and won two: Sound and Film Editing.

Tonight (July 20) at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, Apollo 13 will be shown.  Doors open at 6pm and the film starts at 7pm.  Cost is $2.  Members of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society receive free admission.

 

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Celebrate 50th anniversary of Moon landing today at the Museum of Discovery

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The Museum of Discovery is inviting people to join them to celebrate the moon landing 50th anniversary with space exploration activities!

There will be fun activities for all ages including the chance to see some actual moon rocks!

Events are from 10am until 3pm.

Tickets are included in regular museum admission or free for members.

Remembering when Buzz Aldrin appeared in Little Rock

Forty-four years after being the second man to step foot on the moon, legendary astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin spoke in Little Rock. His appearance was sponsored by the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton School of Public Service.

He and Leonard David, veteran space journalist and co-author of Dr. Aldrin’s book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration” were in conversation in Little Rock on August 14, 2013 inside the Robinson Center Music Hall.

Aldrin was engaging, enthusiastic, opinionated and an overall wonderful speaker as he spoke about space exploration and his experiences. A video of his appearance is available here.

Selected into the NASA in 1963, Dr. Aldrin developed docking and rendezvous techniques for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit, which was critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today. He pioneered underwater training techniques, as a substitute for zero gravity flights, to simulate spacewalking and during the 1966 Gemini 12 mission, he preformed the first successful spacewalk. On July 20, 1969, Dr. Aldrin, along with Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world.

50 Years since the Giant Leap for Mankind

On July 20, 1969, at 3:17 pm (Little Rock time), the lunar module Eagle set down in the Sea of Tranquility on the moon. Astronaut Neil Armstrong radioed to Mission Control in Houston, “The Eagle has landed.”

At 9:39 pm, several hours ahead of schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch and started his slow descent to the lunar surface.  At 9:56 pm, he set his booted foot on the moon and uttered his now famous (and garbled) statement: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

At 10:15 pm, astronaut Buzz Aldrin joined Armstrong on the moon.  The pair explored the surface, conducted experiments, took photos, and planted the US flag.  They also spoke with President Nixon.  Shortly after midnight on July 21, the pair returned to the Eagle.  Twelve hours later they began heading back to the Apollo 11 which was orbiting the moon piloted by astronaut Michael Collins.

Since the Arkansas Gazette was a morning paper, they did not carry the news until the morning of July 21.  Though the Arkansas Democrat was an afternoon paper, they published their Sunday edition in the morning. And since the events transpired after what would have been their afternoon deadline, their coverage did not appear until the afternoon of July 21.  (During liftoff, the Democrat got the lead on the Gazette by publishing stories on it in their July 16 edition while the Gazette had to wait until July 17.)

As expected, much of the news in those papers was about the moon landing. Even some of the other news had a lunar bent. A photo showed US soldiers in Viet Nam listening on the radio to coverage of the landing.

But there was other news going on.  Egypt and Israel were still fighting.  Indira Gandhi celebrated a political victory in India, while Spain was looking toward Prince Juan Carlos eventually becoming King upon the death or retirement of Franco (which would not come until 1975).  It was announced that Senator Ted Kennedy would be charged with leaving the scene of an accident after his wreck in Chappaquiddick which resulted in the death by drowning of his companion,  Mary Jo Kopechne.

Closer to home, the new Miss Arkansas, Marilyn Kay Allen, was adjusting to her new role.  The Arkansas Constitutional Convention continued to grind on.  The Travelers lost 4 to 1 to Amarillo on the road.

Little Rock Look Back: Apollo 11 Lifts Off on July 16, 1969

On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 lifted off from Florida as 528 million people (15% of the world’s population at the time) viewed it on television.  As would be expected for that historic trip to the moon, both the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat were filled with stories covering all aspects of the preparations and the launch.

The Gazette carried a story in which Sargent Shriver, then Ambassador to France, recalled his brother-in-law John F. Kennedy saying that if he died before the US landed on the moon, he would be watching it from his rocking chair in heaven and would have a better view than anyone on earth. The comments were made on May 25, 1962, the same day President Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress about the quest to send man to the moon.

But Apollo 11 was not the only thing in the newspapers.

  • July 16 was the first preliminary night for the Miss Arkansas pageant.
  • Ruth the elephant was ailing at the Little Rock Zoo.
  • The Arkansas Constitutional Convention continued
  • The Loch Ness Monster had gone into hiding according to Scottish officials
  • Plans were underway to bring private Little Rock University into the University of Arkansas System

Sports headlines included:

  • The Cardinals beat the Phillies 5 to 0
  • The Travelers were rained out at home.
  • Joe Namath was in secret meetings with NFL leadership regarding his retirement plans. He’d announced them rather than give up ownership of a club frequented by mobsters.
  • Brooks Robinson was named to his 13th consecutive All-Star game.

In advertisements (and there were pages and pages and pages of advertisements – comparing them to papers of today one really sees how much a drop in revenue newspapers are facing):

  • Curtis Finch Furniture offered a side by side refrigerator with icemaker for $499
  • Bruno’s was now serving wine and cocktails
  • Moses Melody Shop had a color TV for $399.50
  • Pfeifer-Blass was selling shoes for $3.50 and women’s jersey dresses for $11.99

June Science after Dark celebrates 50th anniversary of first moonlanding

On July 20, 1969, man stepped on moon for the first time.

On June 27, 2019, the Museum of Discovery’s Science After Dark program will celebrate that 50th anniversary milestone  The program runs from 6pm to 9pm at the Museum.

No word on whether anyone present will be a believer that it was all a hoax staged in a TV studio.

Apollo 11 was the first crewed mission to land on the Moon.  Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were the crew for this historic mission.

Who says the Museum of Discovery is only for kids?!? Not the hundreds of 21-and-older science-and-fun lovers who attend Science After Dark each month. Because, science is fun … at any age! Science After Dark provides visitors the opportunity to have fun and learn about science in a unique setting.

Museum educators pick a science-related topic and build an entertaining, interactive evening around it. You never know what will sprout, pop, fizzle, or glow. We invite you to discover the science of having fun. Museum partners are there to serve pizza, and a full bar from craft beer to wine to cocktails is available.

And beyond the themed activities each month, Science After Dark admission ($5, free for members) includes access to all museum galleries and our 90-plus hands-on, interactive exhibits.

Tonight: “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration,” Dr. Buzz Aldrin and Leonard David

Buzz AldrinLegendary astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin and Leonard David, veteran space journalist and co-author of Dr. Aldrin’s new book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration” will be in conversation this evening at 6:00pm at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Selected into the NASA in 1963, Dr. Aldrin developed docking and rendezvous techniques for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit, which was critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today. He pioneered underwater training techniques, as a substitute for zero gravity flights, to simulate spacewalking and during the 1966 Gemini 12 mission, he preformed the first successful spacewalk. On July 20, 1969, Dr. Aldrin, along with Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world.

Leonard David has been reporting on space exploration for nearly five decades. Mr. David is the 2010 winner of the prestigious National Space Club Press Award, presented this honor during the Club’s annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner in April 2011 that was held in Washington, D.C. Currently, Leonard is SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist, as well as a correspondent for Space News newspaper and a contributing writer for several magazines, specifically Aerospace America, the membership publication of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). This program is sponsored by the Clinton Foundation and Clinton School of Public Service.

*This lecture has limited seating available. Invitation is non-transferrable. Reservations are required. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or calling 501.683.5239.

Following the lecture, Dr. Aldrin and Leonard David will be available for a book signing of their new book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.” To reserve a copy, please contact Michelle Ross at the Clinton Museum Store at mross@clintonfoundation.org or 501-748-0401.