Local PBS Stations celebrating moon landing anniversary with free event

WCVE/WHTJ PBSFifty years ago this July, Apollo 11 landed on the moon as a nation watched in wonder. This summer, in celebration of the golden anniversary, PBS and “American Experience” present the multi-night documentary event “Chasing the Moon.”

The series, produced by award-winning filmmaker Robert Stone, tells the story of the Space Race through interviews with key players and archival footage, some of it newly unearthed and never before seen.

Space enthusiasts and history buffs are invited to Charlottesville’s Light House Studio/Vinegar Hill Theatre on Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m. for a special 45-minute screening and panel discussion with distinguished experts representing the past, present, and future of space research and exploration.

Edward Murphy, UVA Astronomy Professor and Director of the McCormick Observatory, will provide welcoming remarks and introduce the film. Joining Murphy for the post-film panel discussion will be:

  • Larry Fredrick, Former Chair, UVA Astronomy Department, Former Director of McCormick Observatory
  • Christopher P. Goyne, UVA Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Director, Aerospace Laboratory/Libertas CubeSat Spacecraft Project
  • Charlie Jones, Retired Army Command Sergeant Major
  • Erin Puckette, UVA 2019 Aerospace Engineering Graduate, Virginia CubeSat Constellation Lead
  • Carrie Rhoads, NASA Langley Research Center, Flight Systems Engineer

“ ‘Chasing the Moon’ explores the Space Race in a new way. The film celebrates the immense achievement of the moon landing, but it also looks at the political and technical missteps, the financial challenges and all of the things that almost derailed the American effort along the way,” explains Science Matters Director Debbie Mickle. “And what’s really powerful is how this story has particular relevance for us today. It’s inspiring to see how men and women in the ‘50s and ‘60s, at the height of the Cold War and at a time of great division over the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, were able to achieve one single moment that inspired and brought together a divided nation.”

Registration information for the July 12th event is available at WVPTWHTJChasingTheMoon.Eventbrite.com.

Watch the entire 3-part series “Chasing the Moon” on WHTJ/WCVE PBS and WVPT PBS on July 8, 9, and 10 from 9 to 11 p.m. WCVW/WVPY PBS will present the episodes back to back on the anniversary of the moon landing on June 20 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Full local listings are available at Ideastations.org/TV/Schedules.

“Chasing the Moon” is part of the PBS Summer of Space. Information on this and other PBS Summer of Space programming is available at PBS.org/Summer-of-Space.

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