Lift Off NC: Apollo + Beyond

50 years ago, the astronauts of Apollo 11 planted their moon boots on the lunar surface and captured the imagination of the nation. Now — half a century later — it’s the time for a new generation to experience the magic and majesty of that first “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

During 2019, join museums* throughout North Carolina for a healthy dose of space mania with Lift Off NC: Apollo + Beyond, a celebration of 50 years of space and lunar explorations. This website will be your connection to all the events happening in celebration, including festivals, exhibits, lunar and star parties, movies, rocket launches, space camps, astronomy days, musical performances, educational programming ... and even a few Star Wars-themed events!

List of upcoming events below! 

Events

Sunday, January 20 to Monday, January 21
9:30pm - 12am

Get ready for a total lunar eclipse under the climate-controlled, always-clear planetarium sky. We'll simulate the eclipse, identify stars and constellations visible from North Carolina, and take a spectacular journey through our universe. If the weather permits, join us after the show for lunar eclipse observing from the Morehead Sundial.

Tickets must be purchased for the planetarium show but as always, skywatching on the sundial is free! LEARN MORE

Saturday, Jan. 26, 9am - 5pm
Sunday, Jan. 27, 12 - 5pm

The Museum and the Raleigh Astronomy Club to help you see the big picture -- of the Universe! From comet crafts to solar observing, lectures to rocket launches, space enthusiasts of all ages will find something to do at Astronomy Days.

You don't want to miss this year's theme: From Apollo to the Future! LEARN MORE

Friday, February 22
7 - 8:30pm

Charlie Duke walked on the Moon during Apollo 16. He is also well known for being the voice of mission control for Apollo 11. Duke's Apollo 16 mission became the first scientific mission sent to the Moon and a video of Charlie on YouTube shows him taking smaples from the Moon's surface. As one of the 62 astronauts who trained at Morehead in the early 1960s, he is excited to back on campus and sharing stories from the Moon and beyond. 

Capacity for this event is limited and tickets must be purchased. LEARN MORE

Wednesday, March 13
7:30 - 9pm

Dr. Mae Jemison blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992 making her the first woman of color to go into space. She continued to serve as a NASA astronaut for the next six years. After leaving NASA, Dr. Jemison founded two organizations focused on the beneficial integration of science and techonology into our everyday life. 

Capacity for this event is limited and tickets must be purchased! LEARN MORE

Model Rocket Workshop

Saturday, March 16 (Build Day)
Saturday, March 23 (Launch Day)

Local rocketry clubs will lead participants through a workshop on designing and building a model rocket. Rockets will launch the following week. Museum admission rates apply for this event. 

More information coming soon. 

Moon Madness

Tuesday, March 26 - Sunday, March 31

March is Moon Madness! Visit the museum and join educators and NASA ambassadors in The Lab for a series of hands-on experiments focusing on the Moon and its mysteries. Museum admission rates apply for this event.

More information coming soon. 

Thursday, April 4, 7pm
Special Guest: Gerald D. Griffin, Flight Director, Apollo Program

Where were you that night? Nearly 50 years after America put a man on the Moon, Griffin will share a first-hand account of that extraordinary event. In addition, he will explore insights into the lunar landings and the viewpoints of some key figures from the era, then consider the future of space exploration.

Griffin's appearance is proudly supported by NC Space Grant.

Thursday, April 4, 5 - 9pm
Friday, April 5, 8am - 5pm

This symposium -- for college and university students, higher education faculty, and aerospace professionals--features a keynote address by Gerald D. Griffin, lead engineer on the Apollo missions and former director of the Johnson Space Center. The 2019 SPACE Symposium will showcase the work of NC Space Grant award recipients, as well as other college and university STEM students, and will offer students in the aerospace and space-science fields a chance to hear plenary talks from members of the space community (including representatives of NASA, commercial space, and aviation) and present own work. LEARN MORE

Friday, April 5, 9am

North Carolina has many connections to the Space Race! Tour the museum's new lobby exhibit to learn some stories about the people, places, chimps, and things that helped make that historic leap on the Moon. Open through January 5, 2020. 

North Carolina and the Space Race
Friday, April 5, 10am

Guest Curator for the museum's lobby exhibit One Giant Leap, Jessica Bandel, and the State Office of Archives and History will launch an online exhibit with expanded resources about North Carolina's role in America's race to the Moon. LEARN MORE

Friday, April 5, 10:15 - 11:15am

Tune into this interactive live-stream event and explore Tar Heel ties to the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions with Gerald D. Griffin, a former director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, and during NASA's Apollo program, a flight director in mission control. At his side during this interactive event will be Jessica Bandel, guest curator of One Giant Leap, who will provdie additional stories about North Carolina's role in that historic "one giant leap" on the Moon. Text questions during the porgram and we'll answer them live! 

Griffin's appearance is proudly supported by NC Space Grant. LIVE! programs are sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. 

Educators, students and general public: register for this live event at beyondtheexhibits.com

Over 50 locations! Find a location near you at ncsciencefestival.org
Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13
Times vary by location

To honor the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon, the seventh annual Statewide Star Party will become the Lunar Party! More than 50 sites across North Carolina will host an evening of skywatching sessions focused on the Moon.

Brought to you by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and NC Space Grant! LEARN MORE

Adult Space Camp

Thursday, April 25
6:30 - 10:30pm
Ages 21 and up

Enjoy food and adult beverages, view Apollo-era artifacts and take in some out-of-this-world science! 

Museum admission rates and other fees apply. 

Legacy of Apollo: Science of the Moon

Thursday Evenings: April 25, May 23, and July 18
7 - 8:30pm

Our Science Cafe series features visitin planetary scienctists discussing current research on topics inluding Apollo and the Moon.

Hardwired Code: Apollo and the Invention of Software
Tinkering Family Workshop

Friday, April 26, 1 - 3pm
Saturday, April 27, 10am - 12pm & 1 - 3pm

This popular family workshop will focus on computers, software, and the Apollo program. Develop your own space mission with LEGO robotics and create code. 

Museum admission rates and other fees apply. 

Film Screening: Earthrise

Tuesday, May 14

Told by Apollo 8 astronauts, Earthrise features the first image of Earth taken from space. A discussion session follows the film.  

2018; Not Rated; Run Time: 30 minutes

Saturday, June 1, 7:30pm

Experience the power of live music as the North Carolina Symphony leads this journey through space and beyond with some of your favorite music from Star Wars, The Planets by British composer Gustav Holst, and more! 

Tickets are $28 per person, groups, 10 or more, $185; 12 and under, free on the lawn.

Summerfest 2019 is presented to you by UNC REX Healthcare. 

Countdown to Launch

Saturday, June 8 
 

Countdown to man's first steps on the Moon! While you're counting, enjoy hands-on activities, explore space in our StarLab dome, and meet local space scientists---all during our daylong, museum-wide celebration.

Museum admission rates apply. 

Exhibit Opening! Apollo Astronauts and North Carolina

Tuesday, July 9
10am - 3:30pm

Join Morehead in celebrating North Carolina's connection to the Mercury and Apollo missions, with an interactive timeline and displays of when and what astronauts spent timing training at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

Exhibit will remain open until January 2020.

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh
Saturday, July 20
11am - 4pm

Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11's landing! Our indoor and outdoor celebration will feature hands-on crafts, demostrations, and activities---including a virtual reality lab where you can "travel" to space and "be" the first person on the Moon; and a bungee-jumping station where you, too, can experience weightlessness, like real astronauts. More and more out-of-this-world fun will be annouced as the festival nears! 

More information coming soon! 

One Hidden Figure

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh
Thursday, September 19
6:30pm

Dr. Christine Darden, Mathematician, Data Analyst, Aeronautical Engineer, NASA
Darden--who was featured in Margot Lee Shetterly's book Hidden Figures--has been recognized for her work in researching supersonic flight and sonic booms. This evening, she will share some of the experiences she had as an African American woman working for NASA during the Space Race.

More information coming soon! 

*Participating museums include Marbles Kids Museum, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Museum of Life and Science, North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Space Grant, and North Carolina Symphony.