One Giant Leap!

Armagh Observatory & Planetarium launches major event programme to mark 50 years since Apollo moon landing
Budding astronauts Ellie McGuigan (5) and Leo Cullen (9) are joined by (l-r) Professor Michael Burton from Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, Chris Conway, chief executive of Translink and Bryan Wockley from the office of the US Consulate General in Northern Ireland. 

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium starts official count down to new ‘One Giant Leap’ summer programme of events to mark man’s pioneering space adventure

Mankind’s first foray into the cosmos will be celebrated in Northern Ireland this year by the iconic Armagh Observatory and Planetarium which has launched a special festival event programme to mark this major event in human history.

Marking a full 50 years since the Apollo II lunar lander made history as the first spaceflight to take humans to the surface of another world – landing astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon on July 20th 1969 – the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s ‘One Giant Leap’ inspiring programme of events will provide old and new generations a choice of opportunities to celebrate, experience and learn about this historic event.

Powered with Augmented Reality technology, immersive full dome shows, traditional film, exhibitions, workshops and experiential events, all designed to get visitors into the headspace of a nervously excited young astronaut in 1969, the programme kicks off in early July and runs until the end of August.  The events are designed for people of all ages to get involved.

“No other moment in history has captivated – and continues to captivate – so many people, which is why we want to share and celebrate this amazing journey with a programme of unique events that really is out of this world,” Professor Michael Burton of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium said.

Armagh Planetarium was just one year old when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon.  Reporting on the Moon landings helped establish the Planetarium’s reputation as the “place for space”.  Now, 50 years later, we are very happy to revisit the events of 1969.  Come to Armagh this summer to see the best “place for space”, to experience the Moon landings, learn about the fascinating discoveries of astronomy over the past century, and hear more about Armagh’s own role in exploring the cosmos.

The Armagh Observatory and Planetarium remains one of the UK and Ireland’s oldest and most respected operating planetariums and still delivers a globally-recognised scientific research and educational programme.

“Most of our visitors now were born after 1969 and while they know this exciting story second hand, this year we want them to really experience it as part of a truly unique and extensive celebratory programme of events.

“With collaborative and financial support from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the ‘Museum of the Moon on the Mall’ which includes a stunning, touring artwork created by Luke Jerram, will also bring a terrific showcase festival event to the wider area which will be remembered for years to come,” Professor Burton added.

Armagh Planetarium opens Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and you can check the website for regular updates and for booking tickets, as well as information about special evening and Sunday opening times. Alternatively, you can phone 028 3752 3689.

Tickets for most shows and events will go on sale from 1 April 2019.

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