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Atlanta, We Have Liftoff!

Generations Magazine
Atlanta, We Have Liftoff!


Fernbank Museum

767 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30307

Enjoy an experience that’s out of this world

It was July 20, 1969, when baby boomers of today witnessed man’s first walk on the moon. Many remember that entire week as they huddled around the big family TV set watching in awe as Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins headed into space. After one and a half orbits, Apollo 11 gets a “go” for what mission controllers call “Translunar Injection” –which meant it was time for them to shoot for the moon. Three days later the crew was in lunar orbit and a day later, Armstrong and Aldrin climbed into the lunar module Eagle and began the descent to the moon’s Sea of Tranquility while Collins orbited in the command module Columbia.

Remember the lines made famous that day? When the lunar module landed at 4:17 p.m. EDT, only 30 seconds of fuel remained. Armstrong radios and says, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” And then at 10:56 p.m. EDT, with more than half a billion people watching on TV, Armstrong climbs down Eagle’s ladder onto the moon’s surface and says, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin joined Armstrong and together they explored the moon’s surface for two and a half hours, collecting samples and taking photographs. The astronauts left an American flag on the moon and a patch honoring the fallen Apollo 1 crew along with a plaque on one of Eagle’s legs that reads: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

Thrilling. Historical. Breath-taking. Exciting. Space is called “The Final Frontier.” It has intrigued the human race since time began. And now with rockets going into space in record numbers, people of all ages are looking up at the sky and wondering just how all of that works. Whether one is a space enthusiast or simply looking for a fun outing with the grandchildren, Fernbank Museum has just debuted “Journey to Space.”

Guests get a hands-on, climb-aboard experience at what it takes to travel to, work in and live surrounded by space in this transformative special exhibition. Learn about the vacuum of space, radiation, meteoroids and temperature extremes of this extraordinary environment aboard an orbiting space station. Through games, multimedia components and interactive exhibits, guests learn how astronauts eat, sleep and even go to the bathroom in space. Highlights include exploring the science of getting into space and experimenting with water rockets to reveal the physics of spacecraft launches.

In addition, located in Lab B, Fernbank’s new family fun exhibit, “Sun, Earth, Universe,” guests will find more hands-on activities to help them understand more about Earth’s closest stars, planets, the universe and how they interact. Participants are invited to design and test their own model space crafts, explore the surface of Mars with toy rovers, use real science tools to reveal information invisible to the human eye and more.

The cost of the “Journey to Space” exhibit is included with a Fernbank Museum general admission ticket, free for members and free with CityPass. The exhibit, which is produced with support from NASA will run through Jan. 1, 2023. Fernbank, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last month is a not-for-profit natural history museum featuring a giant screen theater, an old-growth forest and much more. For ticket and event information, as well as exhibit hours, visit

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