July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  The Library and UW Stout Department of Chemistry and Physics have partnered to sponsor a series of programs in celebration.

The Apollo space program was started by President Eisenhower in the 1950s but was later dedicated to “President John F. Kennedy‘s national goal of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth” by the end of the 1960s, which he proposed in an address to Congress on May 25, 1961. It was the third US human spaceflight program to fly, preceded by the two-man Project Gemini conceived in 1961 to extend spaceflight capability in support of Apollo.

Kennedy’s goal was accomplished on the Apollo 11 mission when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed their Apollo Lunar Module (LM) on July 20, 1969, and walked on the lunar surface, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the command and service module (CSM), and all three landed safely on Earth on July 24. Five subsequent Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the Moon, the last in December 1972. In these six spaceflights, twelve men walked on the Moon.” – Wikipedia

The Saturn V rocket was used by the Apollo project for all the moon launches.  The Saturn V is the heaviest, tallest and most powerful rocket ever put into operation.   The Saturn V remains the only launch vehicle to carry humans beyond low Earth orbit.  A few fun Saturn V facts:

  • Total weight fully fueled: 6.54 million pounds.
  • The weight of the rocket is 90% fuel.
  • First stage burns for only 168 seconds.
  • At first stage cutoff, height is 42 miles and speed is 5200 mph.
  • At third stage cutoff, the rocket was traveling at 23,000 mph relative to Earth.
  • Burns 40,000 pounds of fuel per second.
  • G’s at launch 1.3
  • Saturn V emitted sound at 204 decibels. Pain occurs at 140 decibels. The sound reached 140 decibels 2 miles away from the launch site.

Some of the programs we are having to celebrate include:

  • Popcorn and Planets | July 8 @ 9:30 pm – an evening of star-gazing on the first cloudless night between Joy 8 and 12.  Watch the Library’s Facebook page and web site for updates.  A telescope will be available and several planets should be viewable in early July.  This will be held on the library lawn.
  • First Man on the Moon | July 15 @ 7:00 pm –  Enjoy a showing of the PBS NOVA presentation of the First Man on the Moon,  an intimate portrait of Neil Armstrong.
  • Model Rocketry | July 16 @ 7:00 pm  – Dr. Alan Scott will give a brief presentation about rockets and forces.  An easy to assemble model rocket will be built and ground tested by each participant.  Flight testing is scheduled for July 20 at 8:00 a.m. near the Menomonie Middle School track area weather permitting.  Pre-registration required.  This program is intended for upper elementary to high school youth.  Deadline to register is June 25.  Space is available for 25 in this workshop and they will be registered on a first-come, first-serve basis.  To register send an email to Alan Scott scotta@uwstout.edu with the subject line Model Rocketry.  Please include the name of the youth to be registered in the body of the email.  Dr. Scott will confirm registration.  Model rockets and engines will be supplied by the library.
  • Building and testing a Mars Lander | July 17 @ 6:00 pm – Workshop will start with a brief presentation by Dr. Alan Scott about buoyancy and forces.  Children will construct an easy to assemble Mars Lander from a wooden kit that will be supplied.  The pieces are connected with a hot glue gun.  The Landers will be test launched into a large container of water where they will descend, land, and then ascend.  Pre-Registration Required.  Intended for elementary age youth.  Bring a hot glue gun and sticks.  A parent or guardian must help with the hot gluing.  Deadline to register is June 25.  Space is available for 25 in this workshop and they will be registered on a first-come, first-serve basis.  To register send an email to Alan Scott scotta@uwstout.edu with the subject line Mars Lander.  Please include the name of the youth to be registered and the name of the accompanying adult in the body of the email.  Dr. Scott will confirm registration.  The Mars Lander kit will be supplied.
  • Giant Steps | August 7 @ 7:00 pm – Discover the story of Apollo 11 and how they made the first landing on the moon 50 years ago.  John Heasley of Driftless Stargazing will present.  John volunteers as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA.

Dr. Alan Scott from Stout’s Department of Chemistry and Physics in his replica of Neil Armstrong space suit.

Dr. Alan Scott in Neil Armstrong replica space suit