“One small step for man… one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969
WORCESTER – On Saturday, July 20, Worcester — and the world — will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Robert H. Goddard’s realization of his dream to put a man on the moon.
Dr. Goddard, known as the father of the space age, was a Worcester resident. An engineer and physicist who successfully created and launched the first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926, he is honored for many of the developments that made spaceflight possible.
A group of Worcester businesses, organizations, and community leaders met in early January to plan a city wide celebration reminding the world that “you can’t get to the moon without Worcester.”
Led by Lauren Monroe, Co-Director of Technocopia, the group has planned a series of Goddard inspired events — from rocket launches to pressure suit fashion — highlighting significant contributions made in Central Massachusetts that have led to the advancement of space exploration and technology worldwide.
Events and locations for Worcester On The Moon & Beyond are listed here. All events are open to the public. Some events require a fee. Some events are free with admission. Some events are completely free. Please check the website for more detailed information.
Saturday, July 20 Events for Worcester On The Moon & Beyond:
- The Worcester Historical Museum, in partnership with Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will host a specially curated moon landing technology exhibit with pieces created by the David Clark Company, and rocket relics from the Dr. Robert H. Goddard collection. The exhibit will be open between 10:00 AM -4:00 PM.
- The Worcester PopUp will host hands-on activities provided by Technocopia, and several collaborating sponsors, from 12 PM – 6 PM. There will be art on view, including an interactive fashion display inspired by the pressure suits designed by David Clark, historical information, technology, food and drinks, will also be a part of this family friendly community event.
- City Hall Common will have family friendly rocket launches, paint tables, games of catch, and kitchen chemistry experiments that will launch canisters high in the sky. In partnership with the EcoTarium and several other collaborating sponsors, these events will be held on the green space along Franklin Street from 12 PM -4:00 PM.
- The Robert H. Goddard Library at Clark University will host a public display of rare relics that highlight Dr. Goddard’s experimentation and research in rocketry. The display includes excerpts from Dr. Goddard’s diaries, notebooks and test reports, photographs, selected pieces of rockets, and related hardware. It will also include examples of awards presented posthumously to Dr. Goddard, and his original 12 foot launch frame, the one that was used in the historic first ever successful liquid fuel rocket launch. The display will be open from 12 PM -5:00 PM.
- The Worcester Bravehearts will round out the day with a home game at 7 PM at Fitton Field. Fans will be able to create a pour painted, souvenir galaxy art tile to commemorate the event, learn the history that connects Worcester to this astronomical event, view the night sky through several telescopes, and enjoy a fireworks display at the end of the game.
In addition to the events on July 20, there are several events being held throughout the city that will lead up to the big day. They include:
- Galaxy T-Shirt Night, Friday, July 12 at ArtReach. Come create a cool glow-in-the-dark t-shirt to wear on July 20.
- Apollo 11 1969 Launch, Tuesday, July 16 from 10:30 AM -3:30 PM, at the EcoTarium. Celebrate Apollo 11’s 1969 launch from the digital planetarium.
- Worcester On The Moon & Beyond Fashion Art and Literacy Event at Root and Press Bookstore & Cafe, Tuesday, July 16 from 6-8 PM. Guests are invited to see a preview of the pressure suit fashions that will be on display throughout the city, enjoy a moon themed story time, and learn more about the city wide event being held on July 20.
Restaurants and retail venues participating in the event will be noted on a “star map” that visitors can use to find information on all of the Worcester On The Moon & Beyond happenings.
Worcester On The Moon & Beyond is a collaborative effort of a group of Worcester businesses, organizations, and community leaders, that have come together to celebrate the history of innovation and creativity in Worcester. The consortium includes Aldrich Astronomical Society, ArtReach, Clark University, the City of Worcester, Discover Central Massachusetts, Ecotarium, The Grid, Hunchback Graphics, Redemption Rock Brewing Company, Technocopia, The Wonder Mission, Worcester Bravehearts, Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester PopUp, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the Worcester Regional Food Hub.
For more information about Worcester On The Moon & Beyond, links to events, and to print a copy of the star map, please visit the website at www.worcesteronthemoon.com.
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