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Powerhouse Museum celebrates 50th Anniversary of the moon landing with virtual reality experiences 

Powerhouse Museum celebrates 50th Anniversary of the moon landing with virtual reality experiences 
April 16, 2019

A new exhibition, Apollo 11, will premiere at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing. Named after the spaceflight that was the first to land astronauts on the Moon’s surface in 1969, Apollo 11 will open on 29th June 2019.  

In a new virtual reality experience, developed in partnership with UNSW’s iCinema and using innovative 3D modelling from the Smithsonian Institute, visitors can watch the Moon landing from the unique perspective of Michael Collins, the third astronaut who remained in orbit aboard the Command Module. An interactive arcade game, a life-size replica of the Mercury Capsule, scientific models and video footage also bring the mission to life.

With over 200 objects, Apollo 11 explores this defining moment in history, its lasting impact on science, society and design, and the crucial role Australia played in transmitting the famous footage.

Key objects on display include items from the Museum’s extensive collection from around the world: a feed horn used on the iconic Parkes Radio Telescope, responsible for receiving the first images of the moonwalk for broadcast around the world; parts of the Redstone Rocket that put the first American into space; and an Olivetti Programma 101 computer, the type used by NASA to calculate the launch and landing. 

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Chief Executive, Lisa Havilah said: “Fifty years after the Moon landing we continue to be fascinated with what’s in our sky. At the Museum we have a strong connection to the history of space travel through our collection and an ongoing focus on astronomy at the Sydney Observatory. The Anniversary is a great moment for us to explore the ongoing impact of this extraordinary moment in history.”  

To coincide with the exhibition, Luke Jerram’s iconic installation Museum of the Moon will be presented. The installation, which has toured internationally, combines detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, alongside moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. Measuring seven metres in diameter, at an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.  

A program of talks and events will also run alongside the exhibition including two exclusive tours at Sydney Observatory (12th and 19th July) where visitors can learn about our place in the Universe; and a panel discussion on the future of the newly-established Australian Space Agency as part of Sydney Science Festival (9th August). A range of activities for all generations will also take place on the day of the anniversary at the Powerhouse Museum (21st July), as well as throughout the July school holidays (6th-21st July).  

Image: A view of the Earth from the Apollo 11 Command Module courtesy of NASA

Related Articles

13th April 2019 - University of South Australia supports Australia’s involvement in Space Tourism

24th January 2019 - NSW Government announces international design competition for new Powerhouse Museum

27th July 2018 - Powerhouse Director to step down after public funds used to pay for fashion party

12th June 2018 - Massive tower developments to fund relocation of Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum

5th August 2017 - NSW Government to purchase Parramatta riverfront site for new Powerhouse Parramatta

24th April 2017 - Sydney Museum Alliance says moving Powerhouse Museum collection to Parramatta ‘absolute madness’

11th April 2016 - Powerhouse Museum to be relocated to the banks of the Parramatta River

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