The 50th anniversary of the first moon landing falls on 21 July 2019 AEST. The anniversary was an opportunity to reflect on the historic period of the lunar landings during NASA’s Apollo missions, including their motivations, influences and repercussions. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the ACT’s important contribution and its unique space heritage.

The very first television images of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon were broadcast to the world via the former Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station just outside of Canberra. Honeysuckle Creek was one of three major stations spaced evenly around the globe capable of communicating with Apollo spacecraft at lunar distance. It was closely supported in the ACT by its ‘wing’ facility, Tidbinbilla Tracking Station (now Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex). Other ACT facilities have also played a part in Apollo and subsequent programmes.

A group of artists marked the anniversary with an exhibition, Promised the Moon, at the ANU School of Art & Design Gallery from 20 June – 26 July 2019. The exhibition was curated by Dr Ursula Frederick, with support from ACT Heritage. More details on the art exhibition.

Members of the public were invited to submit their own creative responses to the anniversary, with a particular focus on experiences and reflections from people who have or have had a connection to the ACT/Canberra region.

The accompanying exhibition Promised the Moon is supported by the ANU School of Art & Design Gallery.