Northern Ireland news

Celebrations in Armagh for 50th anniversary of moon landing

Luke Jerram's giant sculpture to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing is being displayed in Armagh
Claire Simpson and Jamie Harris, Press Association

THE 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing is being celebrated in Armagh this weekend.

The city is hosting an installation of artist Luke Jerram's giant moon sculpture as part of the celebrations.

The sculpture, which is seven metres in diameter, features detailed imagery of the moon's surface from Nasa.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's lunar module Eagle landed on the moon on July 20 1969 and they set foot on the surface the following day.

The third Apollo astronaut, Irish-American Michael Collins, remained in orbit to man the command module.

The two-day celebrations in Armagh include science workshops and performances from singer Brian Kennedy and The 4 of Us.

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is also hosting a series of events to mark the historic landing.

Its director, Professor Michael Burton, said: "We are delighted to bring the Museum of the Moon to Armagh exactly 50 years from the Apollo 11 moon landing.

"This highly anticipated exhibition has featured in many cities across the globe such as London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Barcelona, Hong Kong and now will feature in the beautiful city of Armagh as part of our ‘One Giant Leap' summer programme to celebrate this outstanding milestone.

"Backed by an outstanding programme of events and a full weekend of festivities for everyone, we're extremely proud to once again make Armagh the place for space in 2019."

For more information visit www.armagh.space.

The event comes as members of the public shared their personal memories of the Apollo 11 moon landings.

Hundreds of people from across the north and Britain submitted everything from memories, to newspaper cuttings, photos and ways Apollo 11 inspired their lives, as part of a digital scrapbook curated by the UK Space Agency and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

"Thank you to all those who took part in the Moon Landing Memories campaign," said British astronaut Tim Peake.

"The Apollo 11 lunar landing was humanity's most audacious mission and our greatest achievement.

"It is no surprise that for those who watched it live, and for those who were born into a world where humans had already walked on the moon, it remains a source of inspiration and wonder.

"As we reflect on past achievements and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we must also look to the future as we embark on a new era of space exploration to the moon, Mars and beyond."

Fifty of the submissions will be put into the digital scrapbook, with a selection also going on display at the National Space Centre in Leicester.

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