Apollo 50th Gala highlights

Apollo 50th Gala highlights

Photo credit: Duran Duran rocket garden performance from Franchise Freedom light show.


  • Panel discussion with Apollo astronaut legends Michael Collins (Apollo 11), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) and Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), along with Apollo Flight Director Gerry Griffin. Professor Brian Cox served as moderator. Thanks to sponsor Cisco Systems, Inc., the evening included remote contributors participating via Cisco Webex software. These included the original Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station engineers in Australia, who helped transmit the signal to the world of the first steps on the Moon on July 20, 1969, as well as former crew members from the USS Hornet, who helped recover the crew of Apollo 11 after their splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969.
  • Tributes were made to several individuals who are pioneering space and inspiring the next-generation workforce:
    • Innovation Award Recipient: David Thompson, founder, president and CEO of Orbital Sciences Corporation (later known as Orbital ATK), the first company to air-launch an orbital vehicle, the Pegasus.
    • Education Award Recipient: Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, founding chairman of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, established in 1986 following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident to continue the legacy of the Challenger crew.
    • Pioneer Award Recipient: JoAnn Morgan, first female engineer at NASA Kennedy Space Center and the only woman in the firing room during the launch of Apollo 11.
  • Gala emcee and NBC TODAY Show co-host and weatherman Al Roker kept the evening moving with introductions to speakers, including Rick Armstrong, who gave a special tribute to his late father Neil Armstrong as his son Bryce Armstrong and girlfriend Mary Sharon sat nearby. Astrophysicist, author and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson celebrated his 60th birthday at the gala and gave remarks about 60 years of NASA and its impact on his life. Roker also cued up a special tribute to several unsung heroes of Apollo, including Edward Dwight, a former test pilot who was hand-picked by President Kennedy’s administration in 1961 to become the first African-American astronaut.
  • An epic live performance by iconic British band, Duran Duran, and renowned artist duo Studio Drift, whose cutting-edge art performances integrate hundreds of Intel® Shooting StarTM drones. Gala guests were joined by thousands concert ticket holders in the beautifully lit Rocket Garden at KSCVC.
  • Live and silent auctions with one-of-a-kind space memorabilia, including a signed watercolor painting by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins.
  • Premiere eyewear company, Rēvo, staged a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity prior to the Gala with astronauts Mike Collins, Charlie Duke and Rusty Schweikart and Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin, alongside Nancy Conrad, widow of late Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad and founder of the Conrad Foundation.
  • The star-studded guest list also included: Dorothy Duke (wife of Apollo astronaut Charlie Duke); Nancy Ramsey and Rusty Schweickart, Jr. (wife and son of Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart); Jan Aldrin (daughter of Buzz Aldrin) and her husband Bruce Hanifan; Kate Collins and Ann Collins Star (daughters of Michael Collins); Jack Roosa and Rosemary Roosa (son and daughter of Apollo astronaut Stu Roosa) and granddaughter Danielle; Robert (Bob) Cabana (Shuttle astronaut and director at NASA KSC); Shuttle astronauts Mark Kelly (with wife former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords), Julie Payette, Charlie Precourt, Robert Curbeam, Rick Mastracchio, Frank Culbertson, Leland Melvin and Winston Scott; and actors James Lafferty, Patrick J. Adams, Colin O’Donaghue and Jake McDorman.

The out-of-this-world celebration would not have been possible without the support of additional sponsors, including Delaware North Corporation, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Cisco Webex and OAPV.


Apollo 50th Gala – Epic Celebration of Apollo 11 launch

Apollo 50th Gala – Epic Celebration of Apollo 11 launch

Photo credits: Charlie Precourt, Gerry Griffin, Charlie Duke, Mike Collins & Rusty Schweickart

The Apollo 50 TH Gala and After-Party an Epic Celebration of the Launch of Apollo 11 from Florida’s Space Coast on July 16, 1969.

More than 500 guests from across the globe gathered with space legends and celebrities at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC) on July 16 for the iconic Apollo 50th Gala and After-Party presented by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC). The sold-out, star-studded event honored the 400,000 men and women who made the historic Apollo 11 mission one of the great accomplishments of mankind. Proceeds from the event will benefit expansion of K-12 programs of the Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) and an endowed, university-level scholarship for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) … all to champion a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) educated workforce.

Space unites us in a way that nothing else can,” said Dr. Andrew Aldrin, president of Aldrin Family Foundation. “The unforgettable Apollo 11 mission was a moment in time when the world came together to witness and celebrate the seemingly impossible. What an honor it was to gather with so many of the legends that made that historic mission possible and raise valuable funds to ensure we continue making giant leaps in our work in education through innovative STEAM-based programs.”

The Apollo 50th Gala was held under the massive Saturn V rocket at the transformed Apollo Saturn V Center at KSCVC. With a theme of “Space for a Better World,” guests were awed by the stories of legends of the Apollo program. The evening celebrated historic and recent accomplishments with inspiring speeches, special tributes and awards to several unsung heroes, and multi-media content highlighting how Planet Earth has benefitted from man’s giant leaps in technology and engineering over the last 50 years.

Northrop Grumman, a significant contributor to the Apollo program, came onboard early in the Apollo 50th Gala planning as the title sponsor. Its heritage companies played vital roles in the success of the historic Apollo Moon landings, most notably, design, assembly, integration and testing of the famed lunar lander.

“We are proud of our legacy of contributions to one of the world’s finest technological achievements – the Moon landing,” said Charles Precourt, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman. “What an honor it was to be a part of an event that celebrated all of those accomplishments, while helping to ensure we have the necessary education programs in place to inspire our next generation of explorers.”

Cisco Webex to reunite Apollo team to mark 50th anniversary of historic lunar landing

Cisco Webex to reunite Apollo team to mark 50th anniversary of historic lunar landing

World can watch portion of the prestigious Apollo 50thGala live via five online platforms


The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 is a reminder that the historic Moon landing took a huge team of 400,000 to make the mission a success. On July 16, during the Apollo 50th Gala, presented by Northrop Grumman, a special panel presentation will take place to reunite many of the players to reminisce and reflect on the teamwork that got man on the Moon. Cisco Systems, Inc.will use its Webex technology to connect three distinct teams in different locations to maximize the breadth and depth of the panel.

People around the world can watch live online via one of the following:



Webex will connect the following groups during the panel:

·Apollo astronauts and mission control personnel (appearing live at the gala at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex–Mike Collins (Apollo 11 astronaut); Charles Duke (Apollo 16 astronaut); Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9 astronaut); Gerry Griffin (Apollo flight director).

·Satellite trackers in Canberra, Australia– Members of the 1969 Australian crew that received and relayed to the world the first historic TV images of Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon: John Saxon, Mike Dinn and Hamish Lindsay.

·Recovery specialists aboard the USS Hornet in San Francisco Bay– Members of the 1969 USS Hornet crew who helped recover the Apollo 11 astronauts from the Pacific Ocean after splashdown on July 24, 1969: John McLachlan, Larry Silva and Sergeant Joe Holt.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019; broadcast begins live at 8:45 p.m. EDT


The Apollo 50th Gala will be hosted on the date that Apollo 11 launched from Cape Canaveral,

Florida on July 16, 1969. Hundreds of guests will attend the celebration, which will feature a panel discussion with space legends of Apollo, live and silent auctions with one-of-a-kind space memorabilia, and awards to recognize individuals who are pioneering space and moulding the next-generation workforce.

All proceeds raised from the event will benefit theAldrin Family Foundation and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Duran Duran to Rock the Rocket Garden at the Apollo 50th Gala After-Show

Duran Duran to Rock the Rocket Garden at the Apollo 50th Gala After-Show

Photo: Duran Duran

We’re over the moon to announce that the Apollo 50th Gala presented by Northrop Grumman will culminate with an out-of-this-world after-show party from 10:30-12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.

Iconic British band Duran Duran will play a unique show amidst the spectacular Rocket Garden with a light show drone performance by Studio Drift. This will be Duran Duran’s first performance in such a unique setting with the massive Saturn 1B and other rockets and spacecraft as the backdrop.

Highlighting the A in STEAM, for this special tribute performance, Studio Drift will produce their infamous art performance Franchise Freedom, consisting of hundreds of Intel® Shooting StarTM drones, which envisions how technology and nature can intertwine. We thank Pace Gallery in London for the introduction.

Photo: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

  • Diamond and Platinum gala guests are automatically included in the VIP Area.
  • Gold gala guests have the option to purchase VIP Area or General Admission tickets from https://501auctions.com/apollo50thgala
  • For anyone NOT attending the Apollo 50th Gala, general admission tickets to the performance are on sale at KennedySpaceCenter.com

Entry begins at 8 p.m., and the performance will be preceded by a set from DJ Evalicious.

Guests can also visit the World’s Largest Space Shop in Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and enjoy refreshments throughout the evening. Profits from the concert will support the Aldrin Family Foundation’s STEAM education programs.

We would love to celebrate this special occasion with you in just 16 days!





‘New York – London – Mars’ fashion designer Nick Graham has collaborated with the Aldrin Family Foundation to create limited edition black or silver bomber jackets especially for the Apollo 50th anniversary.

These sought-after unisex bomber jackets (with black cuffs and collar) have the Apollo 11 Mission patch on the upper left-hand side and a black and silver NASA logo on the back. The inside lining carries a photo of the iconic Saturn V rocket that flew the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon in 1969.

Or you may prefer the Apollo 50th T-shirts made by Space Shirts complete with a special commemorative design on the front and the Apollo 11 logo on the back.

Pre-order now and collect them when you register for the gala. www.501auctions.com/apollo50thgala

You do not need to be attending the gala to really mark the occasion with a limited edition 17” bronze sculpture ‘The Apollo Bronze – Man on the Moon.’ No more than 100 pieces will ever be commissioned. It is engraved with the Aldrin Family Foundation logo and the words ‘Apollo Man on the Moon – celebrating 50 years since the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.’ Available in both a classic bronze or silver finish.


*Advance shipping is not available. Any mistaken non-gala guest jacket/t-shirt purchases will be reimbursed immediately (less a small administrative fee) and merchandise will not be sent.



Carneros Della Notte wine, official fine wine to the historic Apollo 50th Gala has designed a beautiful commemorative bottle exclusively for the Apollo 50th Anniversary.

This 2015 Cabernet Reserve from the Napa Valley comes in a sandblasted and hand-painted limited edition bottle, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the Aldrin Family Foundation to promote STEAM educational programs and activities.

Orders are made directly from the Carneros Della Notte website www.carnerosdellanotte.com/Apollo50Cabernet The price is $125 per bottle. Shipping in the US is $25 for the first bottle and $5 thereafter assuming the same address. International shipping will be quoted on an individual basis.

For guests attending the Apollo 50th Gala and wishing to receive an order in Florida, orders must be submitted no later than the 1st July 2019. Stowing one of these bottles in checked luggage is the perfect way for International guests to take home a piece of the Gala experience.*

This 2015 Reserve Cabernet is a fine wine. Sourced from some of the oldest, most established vineyards in Napa, California, this is a deep garnet-colored Bordeaux-style wine that is intriguingly both complex in bouquet and flavor, yet smooth and balanced on the palate. Its rich aromas are laced with wild blackberry, black currants, smoky oak, leather, and a delightful hint of vanilla. The lush tannins and undertones of spice and cocoa culminate in a truly satisfying finish that makes you and your most special guests look forward to another sip.

While you are placing your order, you may also be interested in learning more about purchasing your own Napa vineyard and enjoy your own bespoke wine label. For more information go to www.ownanapavineyard.com

*Note – If we receive a lot of interest from the UK, we will investigate a bulk delivery to save on shipping costs. Please let Carneros Della Notte know if this is of interest.

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