Edmontonians mark 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing

Edmontonians mark 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing
Some Edmontonians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing at a perhaps obvious place: the science centre.

The Space Gallery was well-attended on Saturday, July 20, 2019.

Frank Florian, TWOSE director of the planetarium and space sciences, said he was feeling “pretty excited” about the special anniversary.

“Little kids out there… it’s ancient history to them,” he said.

“Doing an event like this, promoting this 50th anniversary, is a great way for them to understand it wasn’t that long ago that we actually took that first small step on the moon.”

Florian himself was four years old when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their way out of the lunar module and took humankind’s first steps on another surface in the solar system. He remembers one particular moment with his dad on July 20, 1969.

“He actually took me outside and showed me the moon. [He] pointed up there and said, ‘There’s two people walking out there,’” he said.

“That made a profound impact on me, knowing that we can do that.”

Florian credits that moon landing with charting the course of his future, including the fact he wanted rockets – and not chuckwagons or stagecoaches – on his birthday cakes.

“Ever since that time, I’ve always wanted to learn more about astronomy and what the moon was like,” Florian said. “It helped me actually choose my career into going into astronomy. I think these events, like this Apollo 11 anniversary, is a way to engage younger individuals again, saying some day soon they might be the next person on the moon or onto Mars.”
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