CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – We weren't all lucky enough to witness the historic Apollo 11 launch in 1969 but in honor of the 50th anniversary, the Kennedy Space Center held an event designed to make you feel as if you were there.
The Visitor Complex hosted the Apollo 11 Launch Flashback Event on July 16 beginning at 7:30 a.m. Guests got a play-by-play of the launch sequence at KSC 50 years ago, thanks to archival CBS television footage from the historic occasion.
Attendees began the experience by boarding buses at the Visitor Complex for a ride to the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where they spent time learning about the dozen lunar missions in the Moon Tree Garden. From there, they were taken to the Banana Creek Launch Viewing area to gander at vintage cars -- including Neil Armstrong's blue Corvette -- and munched on a catered breakfast.
Special Apollo guests addressed the audience as the 9:32 a.m. launch time approached. When the moment came, footage from the momentous launch was displayed on the jumbo monitor for spectators in the bleachers to enjoy.
To commemorate the experience, patrons received a Pepsi hand fan, Apollo 11 trading cards, a 50th anniversary booklet, an exclusive Moon Pie product, an Apollo lanyard and badge and a collectible pin.
The event required separate tickets, which were $175 for adults, $150 for children and $157.50 for annual passholders.
The fun is expected to continue for the rest of the day at the Kennedy Space Center.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., space fans are invited to help build and launch a record number of air rockets as part of a Global Launch event in the Junior Astronaut Activity Tent in the Rocket Garden.
The Rocket Garden will also be the locale for a Duran Duran concert slated to begin that evening at 8 p.m. DJ Evalicious will take the stage first and then the headliner will wow fans at starting at 10:30 p.m. Tickets start at $99 and do not include early admission to the Visitor Complex. A $300 package includes admission to the Visitor Complex and other perks.
Because no launch is complete without a landing, the One Giant Leap Celebration will be held on July 20, exactly 50 years after astronauts set foot on the moon. Guests who are willing to purchase a $50 add-on ticket will get to snack on hors d’oeuvres while watching lunar landing video.
Expect to receive special anniversary gifts and pose for one of the special photo opportunities.
A Welcome Home Celebration on July 24 will round out the festivities. Family-friendly activities will be hosted in the Rocket Garden from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Footage from the splashdown will be played twice during the day and presentations will be given at 12:20 p.m. and 3:20 p.m.
For more information about the happenings, click here to visit KSC's special events page.