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Apollo 11 50th anniversary celebrations around New York City

A free screening of Damien Chazelle's "First Man," about astronaut Neil Armstrong, is just one of your options.

Celebration 50 years since the moon landing. Here,

Celebration 50 years since the moon landing. Here, Lunar Module Pilot Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin prepares to deploy part of the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package during his extravehicular activity on NASA's Apollo 11 lunar landing mission on July 20, 1969. The photograph was taken by Commander Neil Armstrong with a 70mm lunar surface camera. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Space Frontiers

The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic moon landing is this Saturday — and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is celebrating with activities including a free film screening, stargazing, planetarium shows and a comedy program.

On Friday, the museum will host a screening of director Damien Chazelle’s 2018 film “First Man” on Pier 86 as part of its “Free Fridays” programming. It will also host a talk with Noah Petro, a NASA scientist who will share images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and discuss the different Apollo missions.

After the talk, attendees will be able to stargaze on the museum’s flight deck, according to Director of Public Programs Ellen Silbermann. As an added bonus, the International Space Station will be flying overhead between 8:42 p.m. and 8:56 p.m., Silbermann noted.

“We’ll have telescopes, and people could actually catch a glimpse of it,” she said.

On both Friday and Saturday, members of the Space Enabled research group from MIT’s Media Lab will host a pop-up installation called “Earthrise: A 50 Year Contemplation” that allows people to mimic the experience of viewing Earth from space.

On Saturday afternoon, a planetarium show at the museum will let attendees “journey through the small steps that resulted in humanity’s giant leap to the moon,” according to the museum’s website.

That evening, the museum will host a “night of comedy, history and science” for the 21+ set featuring the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company, as well as Petro and former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino. 

“We’re kind of combining comedy and history to say, ‘How did we ever think [the moon landing] was going to work’ — they didn’t — and yet, they made it work — how?” Silbermann explained.

All of the museum’s events are meant to encourage people to “dream big,” and inspire interest in space exploration, Silbermann said. A full schedule of events is available on its website.

A handful of other activities marking the 50th anniversary will be happening around the city as well, including:

“Apollo, A Party!” at the New York Hall of Science

Sat., July 20, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The New York Hall of Science is holding a “late-night family affair” called “Apollo, A Party!” Festivities will include space-themed music and activities, stargazing, an “escape adventure,” a solar power workshop and a screening of “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition.” Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for children, college students and seniors.

“SpaceFest” at the American Museum of Natural History

Sat., July 20, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The American Museum of Natural History’s all-day “SpaceFest” includes a space-centric “Story Pirates” performance, a digital recreation of Apollo 11’s flight and landing, planetarium demonstrations, space-centric children’s story readings and discussions. Admission is free for members, $23 for adults, $18 for students and seniors, $13 for children or pay-what-you-wish at the museum’s ticket counters.

'Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography'

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met is marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with an exhibition that showcases “visual representations of the moon from the dawn of photography through the present.” The exhibit is open until Sept. 22 and free with museum admission. A tour of the exhibition will take place on Friday, July 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; space for the tour is limited and will operate on a first-come, first-served basis.


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