Preston’s love affair with the moon continues

Posted on - 19th April, 2019 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, UCLan, University campus
A young visitor enjoys the interactive displays at the moon landing anniversary event Pic: UCLan
A young visitor enjoys the interactive displays at the moon landing anniversary event Pic: UCLan

Over 50,000 people visited the Museum of the Moon at The Harris – and 450 more were at a sell-out event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.


The crowd of astronomy enthusiasts attended the special event at UCLan, which marked 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on to the moon.

The event combined interactive exhibits with a talk that brought to life the sights of 20 July 1969.

During the sound and vision show, Rocket to the Moon, Dr Kevin Bowman explained what it was like to live through those exciting times.

Dr Bowman, from UCLan’s Jeremiah Horrocks Institute (JHI), said: “Having grown up through the time of the Apollo moon landings I really wanted to give people a feel of just what an exciting time that was.

“It was really nice to see people from all ages, from the very young to the very old sharing in this experience. It was quite humbling to see the emotional effect it had on so many of the audience.

Dr Kevin Bowman and the audience
Dr Kevin Bowman and the audience

“It is particularly encouraging to see so many young people getting excited and inspired by what people can achieve with mathematics and science. Who knows, but maybe the first person to land on Mars, was at the event. Now wouldn’t that be great!”

Visitors were able to observe the Moon using telescopes, and could view the largest paper model of the Apollo-Saturn V in the world, which is over five metres tall when stacked. They could even try their hand at a computer simulation landing on the moon using the same method as the Apollo missions.

Read more: Unprecedented scenes for the Moon at the Harris

Professor Derek Ward-Thompson, Head of the School of Physical Sciences and Computing, said: “The Apollo 11 Moon Landing was the greatest technical achievement in the history of the human race. It generated world-wide interest and inspired a whole generation of scientists, myself included.

“The JHI is celebrating the 50th year since this event with a series of public events, including the Museum of the Moon exhibition in the Harris Museum in February, which attracted more than 50,000 visitors, and this public talk and exhibition, delivered by JHI maths lecturer, Dr Kevin Bowman.

“It is clear that there is still a huge public appetite for learning more about the Apollo missions, because this was the largest audience we’ve ever had for a JHI Public Lecture.”

Read more: See the latest news about the University of Central Lancashire

Did you go to the anniversary event? Let us know in the comments below.

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