The Moon Landings: 50 Years On

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It has been fifty years to the day since humans first set foot on the surface of the Moon. The flight of Apollo 11 was the culmination of dozens of flights and millions of hours of work by a dedicated team of engineers, technicians and other specialists. It was the greatest technical achievement of the 20th century, and Neil Armstrong’s first “small step” will forever remain a landmark moment in human history.

But what made the Apollo programme so special? Was it really so important to go to the Moon? Was it worth it?

In a special presentation we will examine how spaceflight progressed from Sputnik to the Saturn V. We will look at the challenges facing the USA’s space efforts as they competed for supremacy with the Soviet Union. We will also look at how the technologies developed for the Apollo missions trickled down into everyday use and how modern spaceflight abound the International Space Station is still developing technologies to improve life down here on Earth.

Weather permitting, the skies will get dark enough to see the gas planets Jupiter and Saturn and we will turn our powerful telescopes to them, plus some spectacular star clusters far beyond our own Solar System.