Apollo 11

In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin Jr. poses for a photograph beside the U.S. flag on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface with temperatures ranging from 243 degrees above to 279 degrees below zero. Astronaut Michael Collins flew the command module.

CLUTE — One of the most significant events in human history, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, is the focus of an abundance of events Saturday at the Center for the Arts and Sciences.

From 5 to 8:15 p.m., the center at 400 College Blvd. will join a national network of celebrations to mark the golden anniversary of man setting foot on the moon.

The Apollo 11 mission saw astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traveling from Earth to the moon, landing and walking on the surface before returning safely to Earth, fulfilling a goal set by President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address less than a decade earlier. It was a significant event of the 20th century and has been the subject of countless books, film adaptations and TV shows.

Center member groups are excited to participate and give the public a well-rounded look at the historic Apollo event, said Patty Sayes, the center’s director of communications.

“I am also really excited because four of our partner groups are participating,” she said. “It’s just a way to celebrate.”

Guests can meet James Bates, a 42-year NASA veteran who worked on the Project Mercury, Project Gemini, Project Apollo and the Space Shuttle programs. Bates will be speaking and talking with the public from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

For multimedia entertainment, residents can find short films inside the BASF Planetarium every 15 minutes.

There also will be a transmission from the International Space Station at 8 p.m. along with a short film about the first moon landing provided by Space Center Houston, Planetarium Director Judi James said.

The moon landing had a major influence on the world, and its impact is still being felt, James said.

“The moon landing was an exciting, unifying event,” she said. “People came together over it and technology was pushed in a way that we still feel.”

The BASF Planetarium is the perfect spot to view these short films because it is a place where current NASA astronauts study astral navigation, Sayes said.

“We actually have trained some of the NASA astronauts,” she said. “We always feel like we have a good connection to NASA for that.”

The Brazosport Museum of Natural Science will exhibit moon snails and moon jellies and provide moon-related crafts for kids all day Saturday. The moon snail is a large predatory sea snail, and moon jellies are fairly common and recognized by their bright colors.

The Brazosport Art League will have works of art that pay tribute to one of the most important accomplishments in human history, Sayes said.

“You can look at the art gallery and look at all the different moon pictures,” she said.

Through the various offerings at the center, the public can find entertainment and information that appeals to them, Sayes said.

“We want everyone to come out here and celebrate with us,” she said.

For information, call the center at 979-265-7661 or visit bcfas.org.

Connor Behrens is a reporter at The Facts. You can contact him at 979-237-0150.

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