On July 20, 1969, the United States accomplished what many thought was  impossible when Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Lunar Module Eagle on the moon. 

The Center for Earth & Space Science Education at Tyler Junior College will observe the 50th anniversary of the landing with special events on Saturday and July 20.

“The Apollo 11 moon landing was a historic event and momentous achievement for all mankind,” Beau Hartweg, center director, said in a news release. “Perhaps its lasting legacy is how it inspired generations of schoolchildren to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers."

Retired NASA engineer Charles R. Price will share insights on the Apollo 11 mission from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the center, 1411 E. Lake St. 

Price worked 39 years at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and 11 years as a support contractor before retiring in 2015. He was a trajectory specialist on the Apollo 8 and 11 missions and worked on robotics systems used on space shuttles and the International Space Station. 

Price, a Tyler native, is a 1960 graduate of TJC. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics and math from East Texas State College (now Texas A&M University-Commerce) and a master's degree in computer science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

“We are honored and grateful that one of TJC’s own, Charles R. Price, was part of the team of NASA engineers who developed the flight path for the Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions,” Hartweg said. “We’re thrilled to welcome him back to TJC to share his story.”

Admission is free. Due to limited seating, reservations are recommended by going to sciencecenter.tjc.edu or calling 903-510-2312.

On July 20, the center will host moon-landing anniversary activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Programs will include shows in the dome theater and presentations from Project Stratoclipse and children’s book author Rachael Peters, the center announced.

A Moon Academy will offer model-rocket building and other activities and information on the constellations, moon, telescopes and ham radio operations.

Lunar University, for advanced students and adults, will offer a study of lunar rocks, a video on the Apollo missions and a keynote presentation by Ken “Moon Man” Murphy, a former member of the board of directors of the National Space Society.

Organizations with exhibits will include Tyler Civil Air Patrol, Discovery Science Place, Girl Scouts, Historic Aviation Memorial Museum, Hobbytown, Mathnasium, Project Stratoclipse and Tyler Amateur Radio Club.

Admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for children, students and seniors. The first 250 guests will receive a commemorative gift bag.

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