Man lands on moon (copy) (copy) Apollo 11 moon landing

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969 will be the subject of events for adults and children June 18 at Aiken Technical College.

Aiken Technical College, the ETV Endowment of South Carolina and South Carolina ETV will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with a sneak peek preview of “Chasing the Moon,” a documentary about the efforts and events leading to the historic Moon landing in 1969.

The event will be Tuesday, June 18, in the ATC amphitheater in the 700 building with a reception starting at 6 p.m. and the screening starting at 6:30 p.m., according to a news release from ATC. A guided discussion and question-and-answer segment will follow.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required because space is limited. To register, visit chasing-the-moon-aiken.eventbrite.com.

Afternoon on the Moon, a special children’s event, will begin at 3:30 Tuesday, June 18. The event will include a special screening of PBS Kids “Ready Jet Go!” followed by interactive activities with NASA’s South Carolina Space Grant Consortium and SCETV Education.

The event will be in the ATC amphitheater in the 700 building. The presentation is free and open to the public, but registration is required because space is limited. To register, visit afternoon-on-the-moon.eventbrite.com.

The “Chasing the Moon” documentary was created by Academy Award-nominee Robert Stone for “American Experience,” a history series on PBS. The complete film will premiere as a three-part series at 9 p.m. July 8-10 on PBS with an encore broadcast at 9 p.m. July 16, 23 and 30. PBS also will have a marathon broadcast from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 20.

The documentary tells the story of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and the factors that drove the United States space race through interviews and previously lost or unnoticed footage.

“When we think of that breathtaking moment of the 1969 Moon landing, we forget what a turbulent time that was,” said Mark Samels, “American Experience” executive producer. “The country was dealing with huge problems – Vietnam, poverty, civil rights – and there was a lot of skepticism about the space program. 'Chasing the Moon' explores the unbelievably complex challenges that NASA was able to overcome. Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t say, ‘Why can’t we do something today as ambitious, as grand as putting a man on the moon?’ It was a century-defining achievement, and our film tells a familiar story in an entirely new way.”

In the “Ready Jet Go!” special episode, Jet and the gang have a fun night planned with a sleepover in Jet’s backyard with mini-golf and star-gazing for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. When Jet reveals that he’s built a brand new super saucer that can take all the kids – and Sunspot – to the Moon, they have to test it out.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.