Rhode Island celebrates anniversary of Moon landing

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 7/14/19

It has been 50 years since the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing, when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins took off from Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969, with Armstrong and Aldrin …

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Rhode Island celebrates anniversary of Moon landing


It has been 50 years since the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing, when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins took off from Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969, with Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the Moon's surface on July 20.

Armstrong's "One small step for (a) man" statement, which he claimed to have made up on the spot, was in truth carefully cultivated in the months before the mission, a fact revealed by his family members shortly after his death at age 82, in 2012. Regardless, it was prescient. The moon landing was the pinnacle of the U.S. manned space flight program to date; a seemingly impossible goal, won in a relative moment in time that cemented the United States as the global leader in science and technology through the rest of the century.

Armstrong's shipmates, Aldrin and Collins, as well as Mission Control director Gene Kranz, astronaut Gene Cernan, and other NASA luminaries, will be present at some of the many events commemorating their mission this summer, but if you can't catch up with these octogenarians, at least there will be some events right here in Rhode Island.

The biggest local event, To the Moon and Beyond: Celebrating the 50th-Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Art, Science, and Exploration, is being presented by the city of Providence and WaterFire, co-sponsored by the NASA RI Space Consortium with support from Brown University. The celebration includes a series of exhibitions, lectures and other activities throughout July and a full lighting of WaterFire on July 20 presented as part of WaterFire’s #Art4Impact Summer of Science Event Series.

Details on the July 20, 2019 WaterFire Lighting Celebrating the 50th-Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing will posted on waterfire.org.

At the WaterFire Arts Center, experience the “Museum of the Moon,” an enormous art installation by English artist Luke Jerram. It is a highly-detailed 23’ diameter Moon which has been installed in the main hall of the WaterFire Arts Center at 475 Valley St., Providence, where it will be on display through July 28.

Over its lifetime, the “Museum of the Moon” installations (there are currently 10 moons on tour) will travel to 25 countries and be presented in a number of different ways; in cathedrals, on city streets, and hanging above pools. As it travels from place to place, it will gather new musical compositions and an ongoing collection of personal responses, stories, and mythologies, as well as highlighting the latest moon science.

The exhibition at the WaterFire Arts Center is free, and will be open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays until 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m., through July 28.

Throughout the month of July there will be a series of special moon-centric events, from yoga to lectures. For more information, visit waterfire.org.

NASA photographs, art on exhibit

In addition to the “Museum of The Moon” exhibit in the Main Hall, there will be three additional displays including “Milky Way” a mural by John Sabraw and the Aspect Collective, paintings by local artist Jeremy Schilling, and work from Livable RI’s Poster Campaign by Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island. “Milky Way” which will be on display in the main hall, is an interdisciplinary multimedia, interactive experience of art, science, and technology that explores and examines issues of scale-from molecular to the astronomical. Jeremy Schilling’s current series of paintings is called “The Overview Effect” which focuses on astronauts, gravity and space. The Livable RI Posters Campaign will be on display on movable walls throughout the space; the posters focus on artwork that would convey the messages of urgency to combat the threat of global warming and climate change echoing the WW1 Food Administration posters.

A replica of the Apollo 11 Command Module made by students of the Warwick Area Career Technical Center will be on display at the WaterFire Arts Center  and at the WaterFire event on July 20….after it first makes an appearance at the Conimicut Village Association's 50th Anniversary Moon Landing Parade, at 11 a.m. on July 20. For more details, visit igniteprovidence.com.

Other local events

• “Fly Me to the Moon”- Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, at Westport Free Public Library Monday, July 15, at 7 p.m. Roger Menard from the Astronomical Society of Southern New England will answer questions like: What is the man in the moon?, What is a lunar eclipse?, How does the moon impact life on Earth?, and many more.
Recommended for adults and children 12 and over. Admission to “Fly Me to the Moon” is free to the public, but donations to Friends of the Westport Library are gratefully accepted to support the Library and its programs. The Westport Free Public Library is located at 408 Old County Rd, Westport; 508/636-1100.

• New Exhibit Opens at RIMOSA! A new, open-ended, hands-on exhibit has arrived at the Rhode Island Museum of Science & Art. The “Moon Dust Table” is a large slowly-spinning disk (the “moon”) covered in fine, white sand. Visitors are encouraged to draw in the sand by dragging their fingers through it, or by using some of the other tools available at the table. The combined motion of drawing tools and rotating disk produces surprising shapes and beautiful, mathematical patterns. Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.; Rhode Island Museum of Science & Art (RIMOSA), 763 Westminster St., Providence; $5 per person; for more info call 401/487-3521.

• Barrington Public Library will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 by screening two documentary films. "Apollo 11" is a recently released documentary that features never-before-seen footage of NASA's first mission to the Moon. Directed and produced by Todd Douglas Miller with CNN Films, it will screen on Wed, July 10 at 1 pm. Rated G (2019) 1 hr and 34 mins. "The Last Man on the Moon" features Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan. He stepped off the moon in December 1972 and left his footprints and his daughter's initials in the lunar dust. Only now is he ready to share his epic but deeply personal story of fulfillment, love, and loss. Directed by Mark Craig and winner of five awards, including Best Documentary and Audience Winner from the Newport Film Festival in 2015. It will screen on Wed, July 17 at 1 pm. No Rating (2014) 1 hr 35 mins. Barrington Public Library is located at 281 County Road, Barrington. For more info visit www.barringtonlibrary.org or call 401/247-1920.

Apollo 11

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