On June 6th, five Apollo Astronauts and two Apollo Flight Directors helped the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission, the first time humans walked on the moon.
- Click each photo below to see related image
Astronaut Press Conference – photo gallery
That day – part of a multi-year series of CAM events leading up to the anniversary on July 20, 2019 – started with a Press Conference featuring Apollo astronauts and flight directors, plus Long Islanders who worked for Grumman when it was NASA’s LEM contractor.
Click each name to view photo:
- Walter Cunningham – Apollo7 lunar module pilot
- Rusty Schweichkart – Apollo 9 lunar module pilot
- Fred Haise – Apollo 13 lunar module pilot
- Charlie Duke – Apollo 16 lunar module pilot
- Harrison Schmitt – Apollo 17 lunar module pilot
- Gerry Griffin – Apollo Flight Director
- Milt Windler – Apollo Flight Director
Apollo at 50 Dinner – photo gallery
During the cocktail hour, guests had a chance to snack, dance to music by the Freeport High School Jazz Band, and take selfies with astronauts they spotted.
Astronaut Fred Haise was chatting with a couple, whom I later learned were Peter and Kelly Kelly, when I asked if they’d like me to take a photo of them in front of the Apollo 11 moon mural:
Days after the event, I realized Peter Kelly was the youngest son of the late Thomas J. Kelly, Long Island’s aerospace engineer who led the design team for the Lunar Module and whom NASA calls the Father of the Lunar Module.
FYI from fLI: Thomas Kelly was born in Brooklyn in 1929, and he was raised in Merrick – where I was born and raised, decades later. One of us graduated valedictorian from Mepham High School, and the other taught there briefly during a long career in Bellmore-Merrick CHSD.
- Freeport High School Performers – photo gallery
Several groups from Freeport High School performed at the Apollo at 50 Dinner and cocktail hour: FHS Select Chorale singers, FHS Upperclassman Jazz Band musicians, and FHS Navy Junior ROTC cadets.
I’ve known about the talented students of the visual arts at Freeport H.S. ever since I had the chance to work with them developing editorial photography skills during their Art Expos a few years ago.
Well, the night of the Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, the Freeport H.S. groups were WOW-accomplished and had such presence before the camera, whether in candid shots – or in a trio or large group of Navy Junior ROTC cadets in front of historic aircraft – or in a quickly assembled group of singers with Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt.
- Silent Auction
Space memorabilia and space-themed Items donated for the Silent Auction fundraiser were on display in a corridor off the ground floor level of the atrium. Interested bidders didn’t need to be at the anniversary dinner, since bids were placed securely online.
Feature Photo at top of post: Garden City, NY, USA. June 10, 2019. On stage are L-R, MICHAEL STROMER, JetBlue Chief Product Officer, Technology and MARC MACDONNELL, Chair, Board of Directors of Cradle of Aviation, as seen from third level of atrium of CAM, during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner. U.S. Navy Blue Angels Grumman F-11A Tiger jet is suspended from ceiling. Astronauts and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran are seated at tables next to stage.
My news Photos of Apollo at 50 Anniversary, Cradle of Aviation Museum, 6/6/2019: