Flagstaff, Ariz. – Experience Flagstaff’s scientific role in the Apollo Moon missions and the Flagstaff Lunar Legacy 18-month celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the first Moon landing. The celebration of the Flagstaff lunar legacy launches Friday, July 20 at 5 p.m. in downtown Flagstaff at the Orpheum Theater (15 W. Aspen Ave.) The free event features moon-themed presentations, exhibits, family activities and space-themed concert with bands Lucky Lenny and Planet Sandwich. Plan to visit Flagstaff for this celebration of one of humankind’s greatest achievements of setting foot on the Moon.
When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon on July 20, 1969, he at once met the audacious challenge of President John F. Kennedy to land an American safely on the Moon, while turning our species into citizens of the world. Over the ensuing three years, 11 other people walked on and explored the Moon. This made possible only with years of preparation occurring in northern Arizona, including astronaut science training, instrument development and lunar mapping.
Flagstaff’s lunar milestones:
§ Every one of the 12 astronauts who walked on the Moon, from Neil Armstrong to Gene Cernan, prepared for their journeys in northern Arizona.
§ Artists worked with scientists at Lowell Observatory to create detailed lunar topographic maps, while cartographers at the USGS Flagstaff Science Campus developed geological maps of the Moon.
§ USGS Flagstaff Science Campus scientists taught astronauts geological principles and techniques at Meteor Crater, the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater, and the cinder fields that blanket northern Arizona.
§ Astronauts studied the Moon through telescopes at Lowell Observatory, Northern Arizona University, and the US Naval Observatory. In addition, the Museum of Northern Arizona supplied office space.
§ Using explosives, scientists created a simulated lunar surface in the cinder field near Sunset Crater, complete with a network of craters modeled after authentic Moon craters for training astronauts and testing several lunar rover vehicle simulators (moon buggies) in the surrounding volcanic features.
§ For decades Flagstaff has and continues to be an epicenter for space science studies.
Attend the lift-off event July 20 and happenings through 2019 with exhibits, lectures, book signings, demonstrations, lunar photography, guided hikes, entertainment, and restaurants and bars offering moon-themed dishes and drinks. A calendar of events available at www.flagstaffarizona.org/lunarlegacy.