Fifty years ago, history was made when humans walked on the Moon for the first time – and what better place to celebrate than at Liberty Science Center?
The weekend of July 20-21 was Moon Mania at LSC! The building was filled with astronomical activities and adventures, as well as new theater shows and even a space-approved food menu.
In the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, guests enjoyed our new show, Apollo to the Moon! This live show explored all the events in history leading to the Moon landing, such as President John F. Kennedy’s famous “We choose to go to the Moon” speech at Rice University and the different missions that gave NASA experience working in space.
Over in the Weston Family Lab for Earth and Space Exploration, guests got an immersive look at the Moon via our Science on a Sphere interactive globe, which uploads HD images directly sent from NASA.
There were hands-on activities throughout the Science Center, all inspired by NASA astronauts and engineers. On the first floor, guests learned about aerodynamics – which plays a crucial role in making sure space vehicles carry astronauts safely – by testing their own airplane design.
Up on the third floor, guests learned basic coding by programming MouseBots to complete a maze, all while exploring the importance of coding as used for space technology.
Additional activities included studying the size and depth of craters to learn about the objects that created the impact, performing basic tasks while wearing astronaut gloves, and understanding centripetal forces by taking a spin on spin stools.
We even had a meet and greet with an astronaut! After taking a photo with our special visitor, guests learned about the famous astronauts who made up the Apollo 11 mission: commander Neil Armstrong, lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, and command module pilot Michael Collins.
But of course one of the most unique parts of Moon Mania was that our menu was inspired by the actual Apollo 11 food menu!
All weekend in Café Skylines, guests enjoyed treats such as spaghetti with meat sauce – Neil Armstrong’s favorite – as well as foods like sugar cookie cubes, hot dogs, and chocolate pudding. These foods all made their way onto the Apollo 11 mission because they weren’t crumbly (crumbs were restricted, because loose crumbs would get inside equipment).
Guests also enjoyed a look at a life-size copy of Sputnik – the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 – hanging right above our planetarium entrance. Generously donated by Norman A. Worthington III and Susan Marie Keating, this exact copy paid tribute to "the ball that started it all" which kicked off the beginning of the modern space age.