50th anniversary NASA Apollo 11 Rocket Launch

NASA took “one giant leap” 50 years ago with the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first astronauts on the moon. On Tuesday, July 16, to celebrate the anniversary of the mission’s Saturn V rocket launch and to highlight the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, Penn State will support an attempt in Huntsville, AL, by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to break the Guinness World Record for most model rockets launched simultaneously.

Penn State’s family event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Ag Progress Days site of the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in Ferguson Township, nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45. For driving directions, click here.

Apollo 11 launch July 16, 1969/NASA

At 9:32 a.m., 24 rockets will blast off nearly simultaneously, and then at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., members of the community will have an opportunity to launch their own, from straw and stomp rockets to rockets with motors.

There is no pre-registration for the event. The first 50 children between the ages of 7-13 to sign in at the Special Events Building will receive a rocket kit to assemble and launch under supervision. There will also be 3D-printed rockets for younger children to decorate.

The Pasto Agricultural Museum will feature a special “food on the go” presentation with hands-on activities. Visitors can try to identify the menus on the food timeline, practice packing for a trip, and taste samples of freeze-dried fruit that astronauts eat.

Additional activities include space-themed entertainment and STEM exhibits and demonstrations in the Special Events Building.

Departments in the colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, and the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium are coordinating the event.

NOTE: Rocket enthusiasts who would like to participate in the public launch with a motorized rocket are required to read and agree to abide by the National Association of Rocketry safety code and all procedures outlined by the PSU launch team. Model rockets must be presented to the range safety officer for inspection to ensure full compliance with NAR and NFPA codes.

For more information, contact SpaceGrant@psu.edu

8:30 a.m. Special Events Building and Pasto Museum open
9:00 a.m. Welcome presentation Special Events Building
9:32 a.m. Simultaneous rocket launch Field west of Special Events Building
9:45 a.m. Rocket activities for children Special Events Building
10:30 a.m. First public rocket launch Field west of Special Events Building
11:30 a.m. Second public rocket launch Field west of Special Events Building
1:00 p.m. Exhibits end, doors close Special Events Building
2:00 p.m. Museum activities end, doors close Pasto Agricultural Museum

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