During the July 20th Moon Fest Countdown at Cradle of Aviation Museum, visitors filled all three levels of the vast atrium to watch the re-enactment of the Eagle – the 1969 Apollo 11 lunar module – land on the Moon at 4:17 p.m EDT.
Before the Countdown there was a wide variety of activities. My two young grandchildren, who went with their mom, enjoyed building bottle rockets, riding “Moon buggies” outside, and more.
Countdown began at 4:00, and 17 minutes later a 1/3-scale replica of the LEM descended from the ceiling and touched down on the ground floor at the same time the Eagle landed on the Moon 50 years earlier.
Click photo below to see model of The Eagle lunar module after it landed:
A few days later I returned to visit the 1960s style living room with CBS news coverage of the Apollo 11 Moon landing playing on the tube TV with rabbit ear antenna, a neon orange couch and neon green chairs, a Woodstock poster, and Pink Floyd poster with psychedelic art. The dog sleeping in the pet bed was a nice live-in touch.
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.
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 many who would be guests at the dinner that night: Apollo astronauts and flight directors, plus Long Islanders who worked for Grumman when it was NASA’s LEM contractor:
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 H.S. Groups
Three student groups from Freeport High School performed at the Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner and Cocktail Hour: FHS Select Chorale singers, FHS Upperclassman Jazz Band musicians, and FHS Navy Junior ROTC cadets.
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.