Anniversary of Apollo 11
President George Bush and Apollo 11 Astronauts - GPN-2000-001665.jpg
President George H.W. Bush and the Apollo 11 astronauts
Observed byUnited States
TypeHistorical, National
BeginsJuly 16
EndsJuly 20
Frequencyevery 10 years
First time1989

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. In the decades after it took place, widespread celebrations have been held to celebrate its anniversaries.

20th anniversary

On the 20th anniversary, President George H.W. Bush announced plans to return to the Moon and then to Mars, known as the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI).[1]

30th anniversary

On the 30th anniversary, President Bill Clinton awarded the astronauts with the Langley Gold Medal for aviation.[2]

40th anniversary

On July 15, 2009, released a photo gallery of previously unpublished photos of the astronauts taken by Life photographer Ralph Morse prior to the Apollo 11 launch.[3] From July 16 to 24, 2009, NASA streamed the original mission audio on its website in real time 40 years to the minute after the events occurred.[4] In addition, it is in the process of restoring the video footage and has released a preview of key moments.[5] In July 2010, air-to-ground voice recordings and film footage shot in Mission Control during the Apollo 11 powered descent and landing was re-synchronized and released for the first time.[6] The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum set up an Adobe Flash website that rebroadcasts the transmissions of Apollo 11 from launch to landing on the Moon.[7]

On July 20, 2009, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House.[8] "We expect that there is, as we speak, another generation of kids out there who are looking up at the sky and are going to be the next Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin", Obama said. "We want to make sure that NASA is going to be there for them when they want to take their journey."[9] On August 7, 2009, an act of Congress awarded the three astronauts a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the United States. The bill was sponsored by Florida Senator Bill Nelson and Florida Representative Alan Grayson.[10][11]

A group of British scientists interviewed as part of the anniversary events reflected on the significance of the Moon landing:

It was carried out in a technically brilliant way with risks taken ... that would be inconceivable in the risk-averse world of today ... The Apollo programme is arguably the greatest technical achievement of mankind to date ... nothing since Apollo has come close [to] the excitement that was generated by those astronauts – Armstrong, Aldrin and the 10 others who followed them.[12]

50th Anniverssary

On June 10, 2015, Congressman Bill Posey introduced resolution H.R. 2726 to the 114th session of the United States House of Representatives directing the United States Mint to design and sell commemorative coins in gold, silver and clad for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. On January 24, 2019, the Mint released the Apollo 11 Fiftieth Anniversary commemorative coins to the public on its website.[13][14]

A documentary film, Apollo 11, with restored footage of the 1969 event, premiered in IMAX on March 1, 2019, and broadly in theaters on March 8.[15][16]

The Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum and NASA sponsored the “Apollo 50 Festival” on the National Mall in Washington DC. The three day (July 18 to 20, 2019) outdoor festival featured hands-on exhibits and activities, live performances, and speakers such as Adam Savage and NASA scientists.[17]

A photo taken during the Apollo 11 50th anniversary show of the Apollo 11 rocket projected on the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on July 20, 2019

As part of the festival was a projection of the 363-foot (111 m) tall Saturn V rocket on the east face of the 555-foot (169 m) tall Washington Monument from July 16 through the 20th from 9:30 pm until 11:30 pm (EDT). There was also a 17-minute show that combined full-motion video projected on the Washingtom Monument to recreate the assembly and launch of the Saturn V rocket. The projection was combined with a 40-foot-wide recration of the Kennedy Space Center countdown clock and two large video screens showing archival footage to recreate the time leading up to the Moon landing. The shows were at 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, and 11:30 pm on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20. with the 10:30 pm show on Saturday delayed slightly so that the portion of the show where Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon would happen exactly 50 years to the second after the actual event (10:56:15 pm EDT). [18]

On July 19, 2019, the Google Doodle paid tribute to the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, complete with a link to an animated YouTube video with voiceover by astronaut Michael Collins.[19]

Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong's sons, and others were hosted by President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.[20] Trump had also honored Aldrin and the Apollo 11 mission in the 2019 State of the Union Address, which Aldrin attended.[21]


  1. ^ Davenport, Christian (October 11, 2017). "Pence vows America will return to the moon. The history of such promises suggests otherwise". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  2. ^ "Astronauts Honored on Mission Milestone". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Associated Press. July 20, 1999. p. 81 – via
  3. ^ "LIFE: Up Close With Apollo 11". Life. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "Apollo 11 Onboard Audio". Apollo 40th Anniversary. NASA. July 26, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Garner, Robert, ed. (March 16, 2015). "Apollo 11 Partial Restoration HD Videos (Downloads)". NASA. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Riley, Christopher (July 20, 2010). "Sound restored to mission control film shot during Apollo 11 Moon landing". The Guardian. London. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "We Choose the Moon". John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2009.
  8. ^ "Apollo 11 Crew Meets With President Obama". Image of the Day Gallery. NASA. July 20, 2009. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  9. ^ Zeleny, Jeff (July 21, 2009). "Obama Hails Apollo Crew From a Lens of Childhood". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Text of S.951 as Engrossed in Senate: New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act – U.S. Congress – OpenCongress". Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  11. ^ "Text of H.R.2245 as Enrolled Bill: New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act – U.S. Congress – OpenCongress". Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  12. ^ "Moon landings: British scientists salute space heroes". The Daily Telegraph. London. July 17, 2009. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  13. ^ Pub.L. 114–282
  14. ^ "Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program". United States Mint. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  15. ^ Kenny, Glenn (February 27, 2019). "'Apollo 11' Review: The 1969 Moon Mission Still Has the Power to Thrill". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  16. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (February 13, 2019). "'Apollo 11' Documentary Gets Exclusive Imax Release". Variety.
  17. ^ "Apollo 50 Festival". Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "Apollo 50 Go For the Moon". Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  19. ^ "50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing". Google. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  20. ^ Dunn, Marcia. "Apollo 11 astronauts reunite on 50th anniversary of moonshot". ABC. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  21. ^ "Remarks by President Trump in State of the Union Address". February 5, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.