Moon landing anniversary events at Science Museum Oklahoma

Guests examine numerous newly displayed artifacts commemorating Apollo 10 and 11 in Destination Space at Science Museum Oklahoma. Science Museum Oklahoma is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and Oklahoma’s connections to the space program this summer with special exhibits, an exclusive show in the Kirkpatrick Planetarium and hands-on science experiences throughout July, culminating with celebratory anniversary events from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 20.

Science Museum Oklahoma is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and Oklahoma’s connections to the space program this summer with special exhibits, an exclusive show in the Kirkpatrick Planetarium and hands-on science experiences culminating with celebratory anniversary events from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 20.

“Oklahoma has a unique connection to the exploration of the final frontier — we’re the only state that can claim astronaut participation in every phase of the U.S. space program, and many more Oklahomans were involved in propelling space exploration forward as scientists and engineers. We’re taking a look back at that special history in many ways this summer,” said Sherry Marshall, president and CEO of SMO.

Guests can start their space and moon landing experience in the museum’s Destination Space exhibit with newly displayed artifacts commemorating Apollo 10 and 11, including numerous items from the collection of Oklahoman and Apollo 10 Commander Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford. Exhibits include a half-scale lunar lander, pop culture artifacts, an Apollo fuel cell and service propulsion engine, original artwork depicting the moon landing and more.

“Destination Space is packed with remarkable artifacts – from real space suits to an Apollo Mission Simulator. Elsewhere in the museum, guests can see F-1 and J-2 engines and get a real feel for the size and power of the rockets that launched astronauts into space and ultimately to the moon,” Marshall added.

In the Kirkpatrick Planetarium, guests can take in “Apollo 11: For All Mankind” at noon Monday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sundays through Labor Day. Included with general admission, this brand-new show is exclusive to Science Museum Oklahoma and cannot be seen anywhere else.

“‘Apollo 11: For All Mankind’ traces the beginnings of space exploration up to and through the accomplishments of NASA’s Apollo moon program — it examines the legacy of Apollo, our first steps into another world and the impact Apollo has had on space exploration as we look to Mars and beyond,” said Tom Arnold, director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 20, the anniversary of the moon landing, guests can launch rockets, experiment with centripetal force, try SMO’s hovercraft and more as the museum celebrates 50 years since Neil Armstrong’s “one small step.” All activities are included with general admission.

Guests who would like to continue the experience at home are encouraged to visit SMO’s Science Shop and select from numerous NASA and space items available — from flight suits for young scientists to Apollo patches and NASA T-shirts, the shop is stocked with items for space enthusiasts of all ages.

Located at 2020 Remington Place in Oklahoma City, Science Museum Oklahoma is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Daily general admission is $15.95 for adults (ages 13 to 64) and $12.95 for children (ages 3 to 12) and seniors (65 and older). Annual memberships begin at $105.

For more information about Science Museum Oklahoma, visit www.sciencemuseumok.org.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.