Why you’ll want to get to Rocket City this summer to celebrate the moon landing

We’re T minus three months and counting until the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

And over at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., they’re planning a celebration worthy of the occasion.

Why Huntsville? Because that’s where scientists developed the Saturn V rocket that carried Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong and his fellow space pioneers to the moon.

Fifty years after that historic day, the Rocket Center, home to Space Camp and one of just three remaining Saturn V rockets, will host a series of epic events to honor the golden anniversary.

There’s a car show featuring vintage vehicles from the Apollo era, a Space Camp Hall of Fame dinner to honor outstanding Space Camp alumni (still waiting on my invitation!) and an attempt to break a Guinness World Record by launching 5,000 model rockets at the same time.

People from all over the world will travel to Huntsville this summer, and you can join them at the once-in-a-lifetime celebration. (But if you can’t make it, keep reading to learn how you can still be part of the fun!)

Here’s the plan.

The sunset provides a beautiful backdrop for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s replica of the Saturn V rocket. An actual Saturn V rocket — one of just three in the world — is displayed inside the facility.

All summer long: Space Camp and Aviation Challenge

Ever since the programs began in 1982, Space Camp and Aviation Challenge have introduced more than 800,000 young people to the wonders of space and aviation.

This summer will be an especially exciting time to visit Space Camp, because participants will get to talk to real NASA astronauts each week — May 31 to Aug. 23.

July 13: Celebration Car Show

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Celebration Car Show will feature vintage cars from the Apollo era.

The Rocket Center will select 100 cars built during the years when American and German rocketeers developed the U.S. family of rockets, from 1945 to 1975. The best entries will get hand-engraved trophies, and everyone will get to see some really cool classic cars.

Also, the Center will showcase a full-scale working replica of the Apollo Lunar Rover, built by the fine folks at Polaris.

July 13: Space Camp Hall of Fame Dinner and Ceremony

Held as part of Rocket City Summer Fest, the 12th annual Hall of Fame Dinner will honor this year’s class of outstanding Space Camp alumni. Those recipients are still to be announced.

Proceeds from the event go to the Space Camp Scholarship Fund.

Hundreds of model rockets were launched simultaneously during a test launch at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

July 16: Guinness World Record attempt

One giant rocket carrying three astronauts to the moon? That’s historic.

Five thousand model rockets launching 50 years to the minute after that historic moment? That’s record-setting.

The Rocket Center will attempt to secure a Guinness World Record by launching 5,000 Estes model rockets simultaneously. The rockets will be assembled, wired and placed by trained experts — meaning this is purely a spectator event.

However, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center encourages everyone to participate wherever they are on July 16. Their motto is “any rocket, anywhere, any time of day.”

Packs, troops and crews can — and should! — build their own rockets, taking the chance to learn more about Apollo 11, which launched on July 16, 1969.

The Guinness launch will take place at 8:32 a.m. Central Time, meaning you could even time your launch to go off exactly then. In order to be counted in this worldwide event, you’ll want to sign up at this link.

July 16: Boys’ Life Facebook Live

With something this epic, you know Boys’ Life has to be there. Watch the BL Facebook and BL Instagram channels on July 16 to join the celebration wherever you are.

July 20: Rocket City Summer Fest Moon Landing Concert

Held in front of the Saturn V moon rocket, this will be an all-ages party to celebrate the moon landing.

… and more

Learn about all the fun in “The Rocket City” this summer at this page.

About Bryan Wendell 2854 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.