Rowan hosts "Many Inspired Steps," celebrating 50th anniversary of first landing on the Moon

Rowan hosts "Many Inspired Steps," celebrating 50th anniversary of first landing on the Moon

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The Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University will present Many Inspired Steps, an exhibition that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

On July 21, 1969 at 10:56:15 p.m. E.D.T., Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Moon with the now-famous words: “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong’s “one small step” was just the crowning accomplishment of an endeavor that goes back centuries. Many Inspired Steps tells the story of that endeavor: the mythology of Icarus flying to close to the Sun and his wax wings melting; the conquest of the air in the 20th century; the conquest of space; and, of course, the triumph of Apollo 11; and much more.

In 1961 President John F. Kennedy announced, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth.” Only 20 days earlier the United States sent its first man into space and the suborbital flight lasted only 108 minutes, and he splashed down only 302 miles from the launch point. It would be five years before the first unmanned probe would land on the Moon. The first launch of the Saturn V rocket needed to send people to the Moon would not take place for another six years.

“Many people were not even alive the last time a person walked on the Moon in 1972. For those who were, time has faded the memories of the feat. We need to remember. We need to celebrate that great achievement. More than that, we need to inspire children to strive to accomplish what may seem impossible.” said Dr. Thomas A. Lesser, the exhibition’s creator.

Rowan will exhibit Many Inspired Steps in the atrium on the exterior wall of the Edelman Planetarium in Science Hall June 14 through Aug. 25. The exhibit is included with admission to all shows, and it is open to other visitors as well. The planetarium also will feature space memorabilia, including mission patches and spacecraft models, from retired astronomy professor Steve Simmerman.

Many Inspired Steps was organized by Thomas A. Lesser (who has donated the exhibition) and is distributed by Audio Visual Imagineering, Inc. (which has donated the distribution of the exhibition) to Rowan University.