The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 astronauts walking on the moon and the Apollo 14 crew’s training at Craters of the Moon will be celebrated at Craters later this month.
The Saturday, July 20, event will feature presentations by astronaut John Phillips, events for kids and a telescope for viewing the moon. Moonfest fun is scheduled between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the visitor center and from 8 to 10:30 p.m. at the Lava Flow campground amphitheater.
At 9:30 a.m. author Julie Weston will give a presentation and sign copies of her latest historical mystery novel series, “Moonscape.” It’s set in Central Idaho.
Author Roger Boe follows with an 11 a.m. presentation and book signing of “The Flows,” which explains the hidden wonders of Craters through poetry and photography.
At 1 p.m. the PBS film “Chasing the Moon,” about the Apollo 11 mission, will be shown. The Idaho astronaut visit will also be discussed.
Phillips speaks at 3 p.m. about his experiences on the space shuttle and at the International Space Station.
Kids get their own time with STEM workshops at 5 p.m.
The evening event includes more kids’ activities, live music, another presentation by Phillips and a viewing of the moon.
Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface. On Aug. 22, 1969, Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, Joe Engle and Eugene Cernan visited Craters to learn the basis of volcanic geology to help them learn which rock samples would be most valuable to bring back from the moon.
NASA continues to use Craters of the Moon for research. Scientists recently concluded two research efforts using the lava landscape as a stand-in for Mars to test remote sensing and communication methods.